Podcast — 23 Minutes

Episode 15: Coronavirus Update #4

Podcast — 23 Minutes

Episode 15: Coronavirus Update #4

With Dr. Gretchen Gwynette

In this episode of the Autism News Network podcast, Dr. Frampton Gwynette is joined by his wife, Dr. Gretchen Gwynette, to discuss the latest COVID-19 medical news and what it means for YOU. We are in the grips of a true pandemic, so this is critical information. And yes, this episode does mention toilet paper!

You can follow Dr. Gwynette on Twitter and Instagram.

Music by @MrBobbyKalman

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Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Hello and welcome to the Autism News NetWORK podcast. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynette. You can follow me @DrGwynette that’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E on Twitter and Instagram. I am joined today by a very special guest, Dr. Gretchen Gwynette. Welcome.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Hello. It’s good to be here.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, we are really thrilled to have you. We’ve been following the coronavirus epidemic very closely and we have a unique opportunity here to get two doctors for the price of one. So again, thanks for being here. Now in case you didn’t know Dr. Gretchen Gwynette and I are married. So we’re getting a husband and wife podcast today. So this is very exciting for me personally and professionally.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: So just wanted to run over a couple of the updates on the coronavirus. As we know, this is a worldwide pandemic and we are really in the grips of something that we’ve never seen before in our lifetime. Just to throw out a couple of numbers that are pretty mind boggling today, Thursday, March 26th, 2020. The number of cases worldwide went past half a million. So we’re at 523,000 cases right now. So this is truly a public health crisis. The latest data we have for a full day was on March 24th. So Tuesday we had 50,000 new cases worldwide. A new dynamic has emerged in the last probably one to two weeks. We’ve not only seen Italy be a major driver of new cases worldwide, but the United States is now responsible for about a fourth of all new cases across the globe. So the United States and Italy are now running a very close second and third to China. China hasn’t had a lot of new cases, has a Dr. Gwynette?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: No it hasn’t. So there is talk that sometimes in this weekend that Italy and the United States could pass China in the number of cases.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, and that’s really beyond terrifying because we always thought of this is a Chinese virus and a Chinese disease and now by definition United States will probably be the majority of cases going forward. So pretty scary to think about.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yes, it is.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: So interestingly, Italy has the number one most deaths. So far with over 8,000 deaths. The United States, although having, being in third place for number of cases is only in sixth place from the number of deaths. So we’ll have to see America’s healthcare system is really going to be put to the test. Have you heard Dr. Gwynette about all this stuff happening in New York and all the drastic measures they’re taking?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, there are many states, including I know New York, California, Illinois that have all done a lockdown. So they have officially closed non-essential businesses all in attempt to control the number of cases because really, I’ve never seen something like coronavirus and how contagious it is. Also, most individuals have it for several days before getting any symptoms. So that is also very scary because then they’re passing the coronavirus on to other individuals that neither one are having symptoms.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: So they’re feeling, well maybe not even any fever, but they can definitely pass the virus on to others and then develop symptoms later.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Correct. Correct. That’s one of the biggest reason why this is so contagious. I think they’re making the correct decisions to do the lockdowns. I know it’s very difficult financially for our country and what we’re going through and individuals not getting the paychecks, which is just horrible. But sometimes I read once that it said the coronavirus might be taking away our livelihood. But at least it’s not taking away our lives of trying to say, listen, we all have to look at the big picture of what this means and to try to be safe, not only for you and your families, but also for just the wellbeing of many, many others.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Absolutely. That’s a great little words of wisdom there. I like that. Where we stood last Friday, it’s kind of interesting to watch the trend in America. United States, last Friday had 8,000 new cases and then over the past weekend the number of cases accelerated to the point that on this past Tuesday, two days ago, we had 12,000 cases. So we’re moving from 8,000 new cases a day a week ago to over 12,000 new cases a day in this country alone. So we’re really seeing an acceleration despite the lockdowns and despite the social distance distancing that we’re all feeling. So really do you chalk that up to more testing or do you think that more people are getting sick?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, I think it’s both. I think you have to realize when you’re looking at the United States, our ability to test for this disease as many hospitals are rapidly trying to get approval so they don’t have to send out the test so they can get the test sooner. This number really is going to really markedly increase as when they have the rapid coronavirus tests that they’re projecting in about a month. That they can get the results in a few hours. Obviously, that will be huge and hopefully slowing this down so that people can immediately start quarantining themselves. Yeah.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. We had an interesting little story today from a family outing where we went to Target to pick up in the parking lot. They can actually bring the packages out to you in a drive through manner. It actually works really well for the audience members listening that you use the app and then you send them a message in the app when you’re ready and then they can bring it right out. But then something interesting happens, right? As we were loading up our car, right? You want to tell the audience?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah. So I look over and I see a husband and wife putting stuff in their car and I ask, is that toilet paper or paper towels? They said it’s a toilet paper. I think there’s two more left and there’s only one package of toilet paper per person. So I had Dr. Gwynette Frampton run in and he did get the last one. You never thought toilet paper could be such a commodity. But yeah why don’t you tell about the ed of the show.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, I’m on my way into the store. I passed another woman who had a roll of toilet paper or a package of toilet paper and asked her, I said, “I’ll give you $100 cash for that.” She said, “No way.” I was only kidding. But that I think speaks to how I think panic people are about bathroom tissue. When I did go in the store the store worker told me that they had none, but I checked in the very corner bottom of the rack, there was one more package. So I felt uneasy about going into the store because the whole purpose of the trip was to avoid contact with other humans.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: But once I was in there, I bought a whole huge shopping cart of groceries because I probably got anxious like this might be my last trip and in the store for a while. So I loaded up on things like butter and snacks and canned goods. Some of the luxuries that we haven’t had the last week or so as we’ve depleted our supply of food. So that was kind of interesting. But yeah, so social distancing is definitely taking its toll. Have you heard much Dr. Gwynette about people losing their jobs or restaurants struggling?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yes, unfortunately I know they’re calling it for low, that individuals who have been such crucial parts of different businesses. That as businesses continue to whether they’ve got a mortgage or rent that they need to pay, but especially the mortgages I know can be very overwhelming. I am glad that the United States, are trying to work through something to help us so many that financially this is a huge decrease for them. So yeah.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Exactly. I’ve heard stories of engineers getting laid off. We heard about restaurants essentially closing down, heard about people being furloughed as sports teams are shut down, so coaches. Schools are shut down. So it’s just really the economies that are crawling in a sandstone. What’s been your reaction? You’ve seen the stock market, what it’s been doing in the last couple of weeks and what’s your take? Just big picture in terms of what’s happening on the stock market.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, I think there is a lot of fear going through all of us of wondering if this continues, how are even businesses we’re involved with even medicine. How are they going to be able to continue to pay if money is not coming in. The stock market did end today very high compared to what’s been going on because it looks like that the stimulus package is getting closer and that becoming a lot more bipartisan, which is going to be essential for this to work, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, it’s funny when you think back, I always hear stories of World War II and how the country really pulled itself up at the bootstraps. You had women manufacturing warplanes and everybody was working together. There were rations on things like pantyhose. So the nylon can be used to make parachutes and there was rations on just about everything. But you never heard things about division in the country during World War II. Here, I wonder if since we’re facing really the fight of our lives, if we’re eventually, not yet, but eventually going to see some more unison and that we’re all in this together.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, I agree. I hope so. Yeah, we’ve been too far on different ends for too long now. To try to, like you said, we’re all going through this and see how we can all work together for the best, not only of our country, but our families. A thing that was interesting to me though, I should have mentioned earlier, when we were talking about how contagious it is. Is, if you look at the average infected person goes on to infect about three and a half other people.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, those numbers are amazing.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. So really for this pandemic to stop, you need that number of others being infected less than one. Ideally you want it none. So then it just stops in it’s tracks.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. That brings up a contrast between Western civilizations and Eastern civilizations. One of the things that I’ve been reading about is how they got a handle on this over in places like China, which had a huge problem early on. But also places like South Korea, places like Singapore and Japan. Because there’s been no major outbreaks in those countries for several weeks, maybe upwards of a month. It sounds there’s different emphasis on personal liberty in the East versus the West. There’s different emphasis on kind of a respect for the culture as a whole in a… I guess people sometimes will concede to the state, like what’s best for the country versus what’s best for me. I’ve heard some of in Italy that people were initially hesitant to really do lockdown measures and the government doesn’t have a role to force people’s houses up in quarantine them. So the virus kind of get out of control. What’s your take right now? Where do we stand in terms of an individual’s rights versus what’s best for the country or what’s best for the county?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, I mean I’m big on the big picture. Everyone, whether it’s the county, state, United States, the world of trying to make the decisions that work best for everyone. I’m actually a proponent, honestly. I think they should have a lockdown. Because it’s the rationale of saying why do we wait until we’re New York city or other of these areas that have been so heavily hit. Because like we just said, one affected person goes on and affects three and a half. When you think of how exponentially that can quickly get out of control. So I mean, I do know it’s hard, but I actually think having a lockdown across the United States would be beneficial to make this quicker to the end. And make it that people get back to their jobs and places that have been closed will hopefully be open again. I think that’s a big thing when this does come back, is trying to really support these restaurants and support these places even now to try to help these individuals.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. One of the techniques that they used in China, especially is called contact tracing. So there was… This is one of the benefits, if there are any of being in a communist dictatorship. The state has so much control over there that when a case was identified, they had the resources and the manpower to literally tract down everyone, find out where they were, who they talked to, and quarantine not only the people who were symptomatic. But also the people who had for a fact been exposed and they created huge hospitals and huge areas in gyms and public places where they could quarantine people and trying to separate the sick from the healthy. Which is really, it’s not going to apply here in the United States, currently. But I guess it really depends as we’re passing the total number of cases in China, we may have to rethink our strategy and get more drastic.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: I definitely think that trying to track down the individuals and see who’s been exposed and have individuals quarantined and tested. Let’s have them tested instead of them, continuing to spread to other people. I do think you’re probably right. It’s probably the only benefit of a communist country that they just really… I know America’s taking it serious. I don’t think it’s maybe as serious as what China has done to really decrease the coronavirus within that country, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. Exactly. And then bringing the focus back to South Carolina, we now have 425 reported cases. This is as of yesterday or sorry, as of today at 3:00 PM. So 425 cases, nine deaths. Again, we see counties that are somewhat surprising leading the way. Like Kershaw County is number one. That’s been the epicenter, but now the larger metropolitan areas are catching up with Richland County. That includes Columbia, Charleston County, and then Greenville County. So we’re seeing the bigger cities being more impacted. So generally the closer people live together, the more episodes we’re going to see of the virus. The smaller areas where people are more spread out, it doesn’t seem to spread as fast. So that really mirrors what we’re seeing in New York. Do we have… I know there was some hope, maybe there were some treatments on the horizon. We heard stuff about Plaquenil and Z-Pak. Any other treatments out there that our audience should be researching online?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, no, I wouldn’t really say research it yet because literally medicine is researching it. I know that Columbia University in New York City, I believe it’s this past Monday, started doing a double blind controls to see about the Plaquenil and the Z-Pak. Z-Pak is an antibiotic that’s given over several days. Your first dose is the highest, like it’d be 500 milligrams and then going down. Where are they got that from is actually, France has seen decreasing the longevity of a coronavirus in their patients.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: What that ultimately means is you’re not going to get us sick. So if we can curtail that and shorten this. A, you’re not infecting people as well, but also again, instead of it going to a really bad pneumonia or things that our body can’t control as well. Really our immune system is not fighting as well, especially when it comes to the individuals 60 years of age. But that the number of deaths that occur 60 years of age and older. I read research that they were looking at, I believe it’s 25 years of age to 60, and that was a third of the hospitalizations clearly meaning you’re a lot sicker if you require hospitalization, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: It is scary to think about young people getting sick. I think one of the things that got the world’s attention was when that 33 year old ophthalmologist in China who was one of the early identifiers and whistleblowers in China succumb coronavirus at age 33. Which was pretty unbelievable. So in terms of the death rate, we’re having a very difficult time getting a handle on the death rate because… Like Italy for instance, the death rate appears to be about 10% but we know that Italy has an older population. They have a higher rate of smokers and most of the people who do die of coronavirus have other underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD. So, generally younger people are going to fare better, but the older the population, the more vulnerable. So, it’s really scary to think about and we just don’t have a true mortality rate yet. Do we Dr. Gwynette?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: No, it’s just still a huge increase of cases and time is going to tell. For us to have better data to really look at this and use our own data and not just…. A lot of the data was initially based out of China. That was extremely scary that it showed at that point 80 years and older, it was 15% death rate at that point.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. That’s really high.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: It was 3% from 60 years of age to 79 years of age, which is really high. We’ve not seen infectious diseases like this, especially how quickly the illness is. This is not a longterm HIV and that has totally changed by treatments. But I’m talking about way in the beginning when they were trying to discover stuff about HIV is the same kind of where we’re at right now trying to figure out and better understand the coronavirus to be able to make the best decisions.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah and it does take years to come up with good research and that’s something the audience needs to bear in mind. Because there’s what we call anecdotal evidence. Which means you hear a story that something worked and then the pathway to getting really true good evidence takes years because they need to do controlled trials. Which means you have a treatment group and a group that doesn’t get treatment and then you have to blind the patients to account for the placebo effect. You have to blind the doctors, which makes a double blind placebo controlled. Those studies then need to be… You might get one, but you want to have multiple studies in multiple locations that needs to be replicated. So getting all that done takes years, doesn’t it?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, I think they’re going to expedite this. I don’t think we’re going to do it nearly as much longterm. Medicine when I say we. We’ll do that. But I think if they do start finding that they’re having patients that the longevity of the disease is shortened, that they might decide the FDA that maybe we should roll this out a little sooner. Because the wonderful thing, by the way, these are not two medications that are new. These are medications that have been around for a long time now and they are looking at other medications. I mean even some, I was reading about cholesterol medications. The mechanism of action, I’m not really sure yet. But yeah-

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: It would be surprising if this works.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yes, I would be surprised. But the Plaquenil that for a long time was an anti-malaria medication and then the antibiotic. I think when you’re adding the Z-Pak on top of that, you’re preventing the secondary infections that the virus makes you susceptible to.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Like the pneumonia.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Preventing the pneumonia, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Well, that’s really interesting. So we’ll look for new treatments. I do feel like a medicine, at least in the United States is pulling all the stops. When I went to the new England journal of medicine website, almost all the articles are about COVID-19. We’re seeing in MURC and in psychiatry rules and regulations are getting dropped so that we can provide telemedicine visits to our patients with this little red tape as possible because our patients do need care. So I do feel all hands are on deck in terms of the resources we have in the States and we just need to keep working together, so. Well. Very good. Well, I wanted to thank our audience for joining us. Before we wrap up, I just have one other question for Dr. Gwynette. Can I have a kiss?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: All right.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: There we go. That’s a unique opportunity. So I wanted to thank our audience for joining us here on the Autism News NetWORK podcast. You can follow me, Dr. Gwynette @DrGwynette on Instagram and on Twitter. Want to thank our special guests, Dr Gretchen Gwynette for being here. Any words of wisdom, Dr. Gwynette?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: No, just thanks for having me. Just continue to stay safe and healthy and really doing this social distancing and trying not to expose yourself. A big thing we should have said, but I think we’ve read it so much is wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Do two birthday songs, 20 seconds. Actually, I was surprised when I timed. Like, wow, that is a really long time of when I think most of us wash our hands. So that is making a huge difference there.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Absolutely. Well, thank you. Thank you the audience for joining us on the Autism News NetWORK podcast. We will see you next time. Thanks.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Hello and welcome to the Autism News NetWORK podcast. My name is Dr. Frampton Gwynette. You can follow me @DrGwynette that’s D-R-G-W-Y-N-E-T-T-E on Twitter and Instagram. I am joined today by a very special guest, Dr. Gretchen Gwynette. Welcome.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Hello. It’s good to be here.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, we are really thrilled to have you. We’ve been following the coronavirus epidemic very closely and we have a unique opportunity here to get two doctors for the price of one. So again, thanks for being here. Now in case you didn’t know Dr. Gretchen Gwynette and I are married. So we’re getting a husband and wife podcast today. So this is very exciting for me personally and professionally.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: So just wanted to run over a couple of the updates on the coronavirus. As we know, this is a worldwide pandemic and we are really in the grips of something that we’ve never seen before in our lifetime. Just to throw out a couple of numbers that are pretty mind boggling today, Thursday, March 26th, 2020. The number of cases worldwide went past half a million. So we’re at 523,000 cases right now. So this is truly a public health crisis. The latest data we have for a full day was on March 24th. So Tuesday we had 50,000 new cases worldwide. A new dynamic has emerged in the last probably one to two weeks. We’ve not only seen Italy be a major driver of new cases worldwide, but the United States is now responsible for about a fourth of all new cases across the globe. So the United States and Italy are now running a very close second and third to China. China hasn’t had a lot of new cases, has a Dr. Gwynette?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: No it hasn’t. So there is talk that sometimes in this weekend that Italy and the United States could pass China in the number of cases.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, and that’s really beyond terrifying because we always thought of this is a Chinese virus and a Chinese disease and now by definition United States will probably be the majority of cases going forward. So pretty scary to think about.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yes, it is.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: So interestingly, Italy has the number one most deaths. So far with over 8,000 deaths. The United States, although having, being in third place for number of cases is only in sixth place from the number of deaths. So we’ll have to see America’s healthcare system is really going to be put to the test. Have you heard Dr. Gwynette about all this stuff happening in New York and all the drastic measures they’re taking?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, there are many states, including I know New York, California, Illinois that have all done a lockdown. So they have officially closed non-essential businesses all in attempt to control the number of cases because really, I’ve never seen something like coronavirus and how contagious it is. Also, most individuals have it for several days before getting any symptoms. So that is also very scary because then they’re passing the coronavirus on to other individuals that neither one are having symptoms.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: So they’re feeling, well maybe not even any fever, but they can definitely pass the virus on to others and then develop symptoms later.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Correct. Correct. That’s one of the biggest reason why this is so contagious. I think they’re making the correct decisions to do the lockdowns. I know it’s very difficult financially for our country and what we’re going through and individuals not getting the paychecks, which is just horrible. But sometimes I read once that it said the coronavirus might be taking away our livelihood. But at least it’s not taking away our lives of trying to say, listen, we all have to look at the big picture of what this means and to try to be safe, not only for you and your families, but also for just the wellbeing of many, many others.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Absolutely. That’s a great little words of wisdom there. I like that. Where we stood last Friday, it’s kind of interesting to watch the trend in America. United States, last Friday had 8,000 new cases and then over the past weekend the number of cases accelerated to the point that on this past Tuesday, two days ago, we had 12,000 cases. So we’re moving from 8,000 new cases a day a week ago to over 12,000 new cases a day in this country alone. So we’re really seeing an acceleration despite the lockdowns and despite the social distance distancing that we’re all feeling. So really do you chalk that up to more testing or do you think that more people are getting sick?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, I think it’s both. I think you have to realize when you’re looking at the United States, our ability to test for this disease as many hospitals are rapidly trying to get approval so they don’t have to send out the test so they can get the test sooner. This number really is going to really markedly increase as when they have the rapid coronavirus tests that they’re projecting in about a month. That they can get the results in a few hours. Obviously, that will be huge and hopefully slowing this down so that people can immediately start quarantining themselves. Yeah.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. We had an interesting little story today from a family outing where we went to Target to pick up in the parking lot. They can actually bring the packages out to you in a drive through manner. It actually works really well for the audience members listening that you use the app and then you send them a message in the app when you’re ready and then they can bring it right out. But then something interesting happens, right? As we were loading up our car, right? You want to tell the audience?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah. So I look over and I see a husband and wife putting stuff in their car and I ask, is that toilet paper or paper towels? They said it’s a toilet paper. I think there’s two more left and there’s only one package of toilet paper per person. So I had Dr. Gwynette Frampton run in and he did get the last one. You never thought toilet paper could be such a commodity. But yeah why don’t you tell about the ed of the show.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, I’m on my way into the store. I passed another woman who had a roll of toilet paper or a package of toilet paper and asked her, I said, “I’ll give you $100 cash for that.” She said, “No way.” I was only kidding. But that I think speaks to how I think panic people are about bathroom tissue. When I did go in the store the store worker told me that they had none, but I checked in the very corner bottom of the rack, there was one more package. So I felt uneasy about going into the store because the whole purpose of the trip was to avoid contact with other humans.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: But once I was in there, I bought a whole huge shopping cart of groceries because I probably got anxious like this might be my last trip and in the store for a while. So I loaded up on things like butter and snacks and canned goods. Some of the luxuries that we haven’t had the last week or so as we’ve depleted our supply of food. So that was kind of interesting. But yeah, so social distancing is definitely taking its toll. Have you heard much Dr. Gwynette about people losing their jobs or restaurants struggling?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yes, unfortunately I know they’re calling it for low, that individuals who have been such crucial parts of different businesses. That as businesses continue to whether they’ve got a mortgage or rent that they need to pay, but especially the mortgages I know can be very overwhelming. I am glad that the United States, are trying to work through something to help us so many that financially this is a huge decrease for them. So yeah.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Exactly. I’ve heard stories of engineers getting laid off. We heard about restaurants essentially closing down, heard about people being furloughed as sports teams are shut down, so coaches. Schools are shut down. So it’s just really the economies that are crawling in a sandstone. What’s been your reaction? You’ve seen the stock market, what it’s been doing in the last couple of weeks and what’s your take? Just big picture in terms of what’s happening on the stock market.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, I think there is a lot of fear going through all of us of wondering if this continues, how are even businesses we’re involved with even medicine. How are they going to be able to continue to pay if money is not coming in. The stock market did end today very high compared to what’s been going on because it looks like that the stimulus package is getting closer and that becoming a lot more bipartisan, which is going to be essential for this to work, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, it’s funny when you think back, I always hear stories of World War II and how the country really pulled itself up at the bootstraps. You had women manufacturing warplanes and everybody was working together. There were rations on things like pantyhose. So the nylon can be used to make parachutes and there was rations on just about everything. But you never heard things about division in the country during World War II. Here, I wonder if since we’re facing really the fight of our lives, if we’re eventually, not yet, but eventually going to see some more unison and that we’re all in this together.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, I agree. I hope so. Yeah, we’ve been too far on different ends for too long now. To try to, like you said, we’re all going through this and see how we can all work together for the best, not only of our country, but our families. A thing that was interesting to me though, I should have mentioned earlier, when we were talking about how contagious it is. Is, if you look at the average infected person goes on to infect about three and a half other people.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, those numbers are amazing.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. So really for this pandemic to stop, you need that number of others being infected less than one. Ideally you want it none. So then it just stops in it’s tracks.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. That brings up a contrast between Western civilizations and Eastern civilizations. One of the things that I’ve been reading about is how they got a handle on this over in places like China, which had a huge problem early on. But also places like South Korea, places like Singapore and Japan. Because there’s been no major outbreaks in those countries for several weeks, maybe upwards of a month. It sounds there’s different emphasis on personal liberty in the East versus the West. There’s different emphasis on kind of a respect for the culture as a whole in a… I guess people sometimes will concede to the state, like what’s best for the country versus what’s best for me. I’ve heard some of in Italy that people were initially hesitant to really do lockdown measures and the government doesn’t have a role to force people’s houses up in quarantine them. So the virus kind of get out of control. What’s your take right now? Where do we stand in terms of an individual’s rights versus what’s best for the country or what’s best for the county?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah, I mean I’m big on the big picture. Everyone, whether it’s the county, state, United States, the world of trying to make the decisions that work best for everyone. I’m actually a proponent, honestly. I think they should have a lockdown. Because it’s the rationale of saying why do we wait until we’re New York city or other of these areas that have been so heavily hit. Because like we just said, one affected person goes on and affects three and a half. When you think of how exponentially that can quickly get out of control. So I mean, I do know it’s hard, but I actually think having a lockdown across the United States would be beneficial to make this quicker to the end. And make it that people get back to their jobs and places that have been closed will hopefully be open again. I think that’s a big thing when this does come back, is trying to really support these restaurants and support these places even now to try to help these individuals.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah, exactly. One of the techniques that they used in China, especially is called contact tracing. So there was… This is one of the benefits, if there are any of being in a communist dictatorship. The state has so much control over there that when a case was identified, they had the resources and the manpower to literally tract down everyone, find out where they were, who they talked to, and quarantine not only the people who were symptomatic. But also the people who had for a fact been exposed and they created huge hospitals and huge areas in gyms and public places where they could quarantine people and trying to separate the sick from the healthy. Which is really, it’s not going to apply here in the United States, currently. But I guess it really depends as we’re passing the total number of cases in China, we may have to rethink our strategy and get more drastic.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: I definitely think that trying to track down the individuals and see who’s been exposed and have individuals quarantined and tested. Let’s have them tested instead of them, continuing to spread to other people. I do think you’re probably right. It’s probably the only benefit of a communist country that they just really… I know America’s taking it serious. I don’t think it’s maybe as serious as what China has done to really decrease the coronavirus within that country, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. Exactly. And then bringing the focus back to South Carolina, we now have 425 reported cases. This is as of yesterday or sorry, as of today at 3:00 PM. So 425 cases, nine deaths. Again, we see counties that are somewhat surprising leading the way. Like Kershaw County is number one. That’s been the epicenter, but now the larger metropolitan areas are catching up with Richland County. That includes Columbia, Charleston County, and then Greenville County. So we’re seeing the bigger cities being more impacted. So generally the closer people live together, the more episodes we’re going to see of the virus. The smaller areas where people are more spread out, it doesn’t seem to spread as fast. So that really mirrors what we’re seeing in New York. Do we have… I know there was some hope, maybe there were some treatments on the horizon. We heard stuff about Plaquenil and Z-Pak. Any other treatments out there that our audience should be researching online?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, no, I wouldn’t really say research it yet because literally medicine is researching it. I know that Columbia University in New York City, I believe it’s this past Monday, started doing a double blind controls to see about the Plaquenil and the Z-Pak. Z-Pak is an antibiotic that’s given over several days. Your first dose is the highest, like it’d be 500 milligrams and then going down. Where are they got that from is actually, France has seen decreasing the longevity of a coronavirus in their patients.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: What that ultimately means is you’re not going to get us sick. So if we can curtail that and shorten this. A, you’re not infecting people as well, but also again, instead of it going to a really bad pneumonia or things that our body can’t control as well. Really our immune system is not fighting as well, especially when it comes to the individuals 60 years of age. But that the number of deaths that occur 60 years of age and older. I read research that they were looking at, I believe it’s 25 years of age to 60, and that was a third of the hospitalizations clearly meaning you’re a lot sicker if you require hospitalization, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: It is scary to think about young people getting sick. I think one of the things that got the world’s attention was when that 33 year old ophthalmologist in China who was one of the early identifiers and whistleblowers in China succumb coronavirus at age 33. Which was pretty unbelievable. So in terms of the death rate, we’re having a very difficult time getting a handle on the death rate because… Like Italy for instance, the death rate appears to be about 10% but we know that Italy has an older population. They have a higher rate of smokers and most of the people who do die of coronavirus have other underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD. So, generally younger people are going to fare better, but the older the population, the more vulnerable. So, it’s really scary to think about and we just don’t have a true mortality rate yet. Do we Dr. Gwynette?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: No, it’s just still a huge increase of cases and time is going to tell. For us to have better data to really look at this and use our own data and not just…. A lot of the data was initially based out of China. That was extremely scary that it showed at that point 80 years and older, it was 15% death rate at that point.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah. That’s really high.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: It was 3% from 60 years of age to 79 years of age, which is really high. We’ve not seen infectious diseases like this, especially how quickly the illness is. This is not a longterm HIV and that has totally changed by treatments. But I’m talking about way in the beginning when they were trying to discover stuff about HIV is the same kind of where we’re at right now trying to figure out and better understand the coronavirus to be able to make the best decisions.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Yeah and it does take years to come up with good research and that’s something the audience needs to bear in mind. Because there’s what we call anecdotal evidence. Which means you hear a story that something worked and then the pathway to getting really true good evidence takes years because they need to do controlled trials. Which means you have a treatment group and a group that doesn’t get treatment and then you have to blind the patients to account for the placebo effect. You have to blind the doctors, which makes a double blind placebo controlled. Those studies then need to be… You might get one, but you want to have multiple studies in multiple locations that needs to be replicated. So getting all that done takes years, doesn’t it?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Well, I think they’re going to expedite this. I don’t think we’re going to do it nearly as much longterm. Medicine when I say we. We’ll do that. But I think if they do start finding that they’re having patients that the longevity of the disease is shortened, that they might decide the FDA that maybe we should roll this out a little sooner. Because the wonderful thing, by the way, these are not two medications that are new. These are medications that have been around for a long time now and they are looking at other medications. I mean even some, I was reading about cholesterol medications. The mechanism of action, I’m not really sure yet. But yeah-

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: It would be surprising if this works.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yes, I would be surprised. But the Plaquenil that for a long time was an anti-malaria medication and then the antibiotic. I think when you’re adding the Z-Pak on top of that, you’re preventing the secondary infections that the virus makes you susceptible to.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Like the pneumonia.

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Preventing the pneumonia, so.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Well, that’s really interesting. So we’ll look for new treatments. I do feel like a medicine, at least in the United States is pulling all the stops. When I went to the new England journal of medicine website, almost all the articles are about COVID-19. We’re seeing in MURC and in psychiatry rules and regulations are getting dropped so that we can provide telemedicine visits to our patients with this little red tape as possible because our patients do need care. So I do feel all hands are on deck in terms of the resources we have in the States and we just need to keep working together, so. Well. Very good. Well, I wanted to thank our audience for joining us. Before we wrap up, I just have one other question for Dr. Gwynette. Can I have a kiss?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: All right.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: There we go. That’s a unique opportunity. So I wanted to thank our audience for joining us here on the Autism News NetWORK podcast. You can follow me, Dr. Gwynette @DrGwynette on Instagram and on Twitter. Want to thank our special guests, Dr Gretchen Gwynette for being here. Any words of wisdom, Dr. Gwynette?

Dr. Gretchen Gwynette: No, just thanks for having me. Just continue to stay safe and healthy and really doing this social distancing and trying not to expose yourself. A big thing we should have said, but I think we’ve read it so much is wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Do two birthday songs, 20 seconds. Actually, I was surprised when I timed. Like, wow, that is a really long time of when I think most of us wash our hands. So that is making a huge difference there.

Dr. Frampton Gwynette: Absolutely. Well, thank you. Thank you the audience for joining us on the Autism News NetWORK podcast. We will see you next time. Thanks.

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