NoVA Weekend Warriors – Ask an Epidemiologist with Dr. Recinda Sherman

Watch the interview here or listen on your favorite podcast player.

Overview: In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Recinda Sherman, an epidemiologist, to discuss some critical questions for complementary health, wellness and fitness professions to consider. (Time stamp to individual questions listed below).

Recording Date: 5/24/2020 Please note today’s discussion focuses only on one of the avenues we need to explore when deciding on reopening dates and plans. Additionally, health, wellness and fitness professionals also need to determine ethical considerations. “Do No Harm”, code of ethics by profession, and the same ethical actions we would take under other circumstances where there is a possibility of comprising a client’s health, still need to be considered.

Disclaimer: Today’s content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as advice, medical or otherwise. The views of guests in each episode are solely their own. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical conditions or care.

6:50 To start can you tell me a little about what Epidemiologists do?

13:55 What are some of your favorite resources for us to easily learn the epidemiology of COVID-19?

22:34 Can people who have antibodies be protected themselves from reinfection but still be carriers and spread to other? Do we know yet how long antibodies protect someone?

25:43 I’ve seen research on hard surface fomites, ranging from 8 hours on chrome to 5 days on wood. But I haven’t seen any research on fabrics?

28:02 I’ve seen estimates all over the place in regards to the effectiveness of cloth masks in regards to COVID-19. Do you have any information on that?

38:03 How dangerous is removing clothes over your head or wearing “buffs” as masks?

40:54 Should curtains, rugs, lampshades and other fabric surfaces that cannot be laundered between each interaction be removed?

44:44 What role do HVAC units play in the spread of droplets?

48:04 If transmission is primarily coming from respiratory droplets, in careers that cannot keep a 6 foot or more distance, how does closer contact change our risk? Does amount of time matter?

49:57 We are hearing that people are testing positive many weeks after diagnosed and have complications much longer than 14 days. How confident are we that the virus is contagious for only 14 days?

52:53 Please note mention of head to toe map of COVID-19 symptoms was mistakenly attributed that to John Hopkins University. The original source of the graphic is unknow, so no link is provided.

55:38 Is there a possibility that COVID-19 becomes like the seasonal flu where we may have to guess the strain seasonally for an annual vaccine?

58:39 How does the size and circulation of air flow in a room affect COVID-19 transmission?

1:02:08 It is sometimes recommended to air rooms out between clients by opening windows and doors. Does this potentially run the risk of “kicking up” virus particles from surfaces into the air”? If you do not have a room with windows, would additional time between clients allow droplets to settle?

1:05:55 How dangerous is viral shed through touching someone else’s skin? Or is the risk truly more about respiratory droplets due to close contact?

1:09:03 Many of our surfaces are somewhere in between porous and non porous, a good example being stretch pleather covers for our tables. These are recommended to be cleaned with EPA-disinfectants but does the combination of pleather and stretch make them more susceptible to collecting germs and viruses?

1:10:21 For massage, some of us practice ashistsu or barefoot massage, where you work using their feet instead of hands. What is the risk when you are 4 to 5 ft from someone, with both wearing a mask? Is there a gravity and droplet risk of being above and below someone?

1:13:12 DVTs are a contraindication in massage. Many massage therapists are concerned about asymptotic clients and the current COVID-19 induced clotting issues and that massage could dislodge clots. Can you talk a bit about what we currently know about COVID-19 clotting issues, pulmonary embolism and DIC? How common or rare is this? And how is the clotting different from typically DVT?

1:16:58 From an Epidemiologists standpoint, do you feel the John Hopkins Guidance for Governors and the CDC Reopening Guidelines are reasonable ways for us to head into reopening?

1:22:33 What questions are you surprised I didn’t ask? Are there other important issues we need to think closely about before we head into reopening phases?

1:27:28 If massage was available today, would you make an appointment or recommend people wait? Would you visit a gym?

Full transcript available by request.

(c) NoVA Weekend Warriors 2020