Dr. Jeffrey Dover shares what we’ve learned about COVID-19 since reopening the aesthetic practice.
Most practices have reopened and have put processes in place, including some combination of AesCert, professional association and local and federal guidance, but what have we learned?
We have learned a lot since just following the COVID crisis. We've learned, for example, that surfaces are not as important as aerosol. That this is an aerosolized virus that can spread from super spreaders, but you never know who they are. The Times just published a big paper on super spreaders. We don't know what they are. We just know they can give it to 20 people, while the other nine in the room give the virus to nobody. But we don't know why. But there are these large boluses of virus, which can be aerosolized. So while surfaces might be important, small closed spaces for prolonged periods of time without masks is the worst.
You don't want to be with someone without a mask for prolonged periods of time when they're close to you and it's probably 10 or 15 minutes. Someone's positive, but you don't know they're positive till a week later. So I think what we do is have to assume everybody's positive, socially isolate, and I think by keeping these rooms clean, high circulation of air, wiping down surfaces, masks. We wear N95s 12 hours of the day. The minute I arrive, to the minute I leave, it doesn't come off. For lunch, I'm in a private room all by myself. Now, I get hypoxic, and I'm hot and it's uncomfortable, but I'd rather be that than in the ICU.
We've already had one of our head nurse’s mother-in-law died of COVID. She's a registered nurse with one of the big hospitals in town. Sixty-two and perfectly healthy.
I've had 10 colleagues’ parents die of COVID in nursing homes in Canada, Britain and in America. It's not to be taken lightly. It's a serious disease and lots of sequelae, and it's going to be around now, we've also learned, for a couple of years. At least it's not going away this fall. It’s not going away next winter. The vaccine will not be ready for primetime in December.
Unfortunately, our leadership has been lacking tremendously on a governmental level, so we have to do it on a grassroots level, locally and physician-to-physician, colleague to colleague, and set the standards. Because we actually know public health.
We know, protect the cough, protect the spread; wear gloves, clean and do all these things. And when you do that it actually works. It's been shown.