Of all symptoms of Corona, shortness of breath is a critical stage symptom.
Other symptoms are fever, dullness, loss of taste.
But, shortness of breath means one is reaching threshold levels.
This happens over a period of time, as oxygen levels fall.
As the virus hits a person, Oxygen levels fall gradually and importantly the rate varies from person to person.
Keep a pulse oximeter with you at home or where you are staying. Keep checking periodically or whenever you feel short of breath.
Report to your doctor, whenever there is a fall in reading. Rush to the doctor who will probably put you on oxygen.
What are we achieving by doing this?
Firstly, let us understand reports of front line doctors in New York.
The majority of these doctors who are keenly observing the ER patients, opine that patients are dying because, as oxygen levels fall, body is accomodating and as a result patients are able to carry on for longer periods and are calling doctors or hospitals only when they are very uncomfortable. Strangely, patients who are very uncomfortable are still able to talk on mobile even when they are in ERooms. This is because, body is adjusting to lower levels of oxygen. As the body is adjusting to the low oxygen levels, organs in the body are getting strained and as oxygen levels hit a lower threshold, the decline is sudden. The effect of this virus is varying from person to person as the lower threshold varies from person to person, and for older people the threshold may be higher. This explains why older people are reporting very sick more quickly than younger patients.
If there are comorbidities, those organs are failing rapidly, probably within hours, of hitting low oxygen levels. And, many a times causing death. This explains why many people are dying suddenly. Very important to note.
By constantly checking oxygen levels, a sick person can get himself on oxygen at an earlier point of time than what is happening now, and ensure that no organs in his body are damaged. And, as a consequence it becomes highly possible that the medications which are given to cure Pneumonia will work. Note that as per reports Pneumonia is the primary damage this virus is inflicting to humans. With lesser oxygen supply, this is leading to acute Pneumonia, and people are suffering longer periods.
Thermometers and oximeters are required to commence treatment early.
For most people, this virus attack is very mild and is not causing much sickness. This is misleading many.
While one part of strategy to halt the march of this pandemic is social distancing, masks and sanitizing, another part is to detect falling oxygen levels and put patients on oxygen as early as possible.
The key to overcoming and fight this pandemic is to enable people to detect the infection on their own and not depend on testing as is being said extra ordinary intelligent politicians. Remember, testing can take hours, or a day depending on the waiting list and is expensive.
The first line of treatment, get people to voluntarily and immediately check for oxygen levels and put them on oxygen, and then send blood samples for testing. The key word is voluntarily and immediately.
If this strategy works, and fatalities reduce dramatically, air and bus travel and offices can resume, as at every stage temperature and oxygen levels can be checked using a oximeter and people can be allowed in.
However, I expect that restaurants and schools will not be allowed to reopen till a stage when majority of the population has been exposed to the virus.
Opening restaurants may result in thousands of people being exposed to the virus at once, causing a strain on the medical and economic systems.
There are strong rumours that many have faked to escape quarantine just before lockdown period started. Body temperature can be faked by taking Paracetamol, however, oxygen levels cannot be faked. So, it is a foolproof method to check people and be on the safe side.
I am basing my suggestions on this article:
So, in summary, the strategy to control this virus spread has to be:
- Get people to check for oxygen levels, early on any suspicion. Use all media to publicise.
- Continously monitor oxygen levels.
- Have portable oxygen cylinders in supply, before lifting lockdown.
- Masks, social distancing, hand wash and sanitising to continue. Make sanitisers available for low MRP. The reason is sanitisers are more effective as people need not get up or move to the sink or washroom for hand wash.
- Conduct oxygen testing in all hot areas. Very easy and possible as compared to kits which are very expensive.
- Put low oxygen cases on oxygen asap based on day to day reading and quarantine.
Even if the mortalities reduce by a small percentage and detection is early it can be one step closer to handling this pandemic.
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