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+TALK +TALK SHOW

+TALK: COVID-19 UPDATE with DR. ANU

Karl Schmid sits down with Dr. Anu Seshadri to take viewer questions and share the latest information about Covid-19.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Karl Schmid

Welcome to +Talk on +Life. We’re all about turning positive into a plus. And it’s been a while since we have sat down with our favorite Doctor, Dr Anu Seshadri, good to see you doc.

Dr. Anu

Good to see you as well.

Karl Schmid

First of all, how are you holding up in the trenches there? Who would have thought we’d still be doing this whole COVID thing five months later?

Dr. Anu

I know, right? I don’t even know where, is it summer? Is that what it is right now? So I guess that answer to your question is, I’m just taking it day by day, and just doing what I signed up to do.

Karl Schmid

Well, and we appreciate you for that. Speaking of answering questions, I thought we’d do a little one on one. We’ve got some viewer questions. Are you down to answer some burning questions from our viewers?

Dr. Anu

Bring it.

Karl Schmid

Alright, here we go. Question number one. This comes from Scott in Steamboat Springs. The question is, and this is relevant, this is one I’ve asked you offline. Is it true that there is an antiretroviral shortage by, you know, brought on by shipping and costs due to the COVID related barriers?

Dr. Anu

It is actually true. And I will state this, as far as what I know, is that the UN, the UNAID has actually gotten involved and it’s reached out to various countries because it’s not just the United States, but it’s, you know, at least 73 different countries have been identified, that they are experiencing a shortage and, you know, they’re really putting it out there, the UN is really putting it out there that government needs to be aware of the situation and take the precautions that it needs to in order to make these medications available.

Karl Schmid

What’s your advice, then, for someone like me living with HIV? Is there a real chance that in the United States I could run out of my meds in two months?

Dr. Anu

I can’t speak for the future, but what I would say is especially given COVID right now, I’ve been encouraging my patients and me myself when I do prescribe to patients, I’m prescribing them a three month refill, you know, or even a six month refill prescription so that you have enough for at least the time being, three months, six months.

Karl Schmid

Okay, well, thank you for answering that. Next one, a question from Jamie in Providence. Jamie asks, why did officials originally say masks were not effective, now they’re telling everyone to wear them. This mask thing goes on and on and on. Personally, I don’t get it, just put on the mask, it’s not that difficult. But Jamie has a point, we were told in the beginning, you don’t really need to worry about the mask.

Dr. Anu

Right, and it’s because with new data and with new evidence, we’re gonna have to change policies. This is a novel Corona virus, I think I’ve said this before, this is a brand new virus that we’re still investigating that we’re still studying. So as we learn more about it, such as what we can do to protect ourselves, we’re obviously going to change our public health policies dealing with this virus. So before, yes, it was shown that there, it can be spread through respiratory droplets, you don’t necessarily need to wear your face masks, you can just be socially distant, but then they were noticing that it was through studies again, that this was noticed that there’s a bunch of asymptomatic carriers. What that means is that there are certain people that do not have and show symptoms of a runny nose, cough, diarrhea, etc, but they are still infective and spreading it and in order to stop that, then we, just like shown in other countries where this was implemented, such as Japan and China, where they were universally masking, the spread decreased.

Karl Schmid

Right, well, keeping on the topic of masks, Kye in Torrance here in California has this question for you Dr. Anu. The question is, if I’m outside exercising or walking and away from people, do I need to wear a mask? People eating at restaurants or not wearing them outside? That’s a really interesting point because we can sit down and we can eat outside now here in California, and you can take your mask off. What’s the difference between that, in a restaurant with people six feet apart, and me working out outside?

Dr. Anu

I’m gonna say this if you’re working out outside and there’s no one near you, or at least you are guaranteed six foot distance, right? Six to nine feet, six foot distance, then you don’t necessarily have to wear it. But here’s also where county regulations come into play. And unfortunately, now it’s become a regulation, right? Certain places, if you are seen without a face mask, then you are fined. And that’s what it comes down to. Do i agree that you don’t necessarily have to wear a face mask if you’re not around people and you’re socially distancing and yes, you’re exercising on your own? Yes. So that’s my answer for that question.

Karl Schmid

All right, yeah, well, it’s certainly a hot debate. Another hot debate that’s really ramping up right now is about education, so we’ve got another question here. This question is from Evan in Brooklyn. Evan wants to know, is it safe to send my kids to school? And if so, why? Boy, this one’s tricky because you hear Fauci saying certain things. The President is saying what he wants to say, but from a medical standpoint, as someone who is, and you look after kids, what is your take on this?

Karl Schmid

I’m gonna tell you what a couple of trusted sources have said and then I’m gonna also tell you what I think personally as well. So according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as the CDC, they are recommending children to go back to school because one of the concerns that these institutions have as well as parents are having is social development and the increase as well in mental health issues that have come up because of COVID and staying at home, lack of coping skills, lack of interaction, I guess with their friends as well as one to one interaction with teachers and students and that is a real concern. And so this is why the CDC and the AAP have given strict criteria that schools should implement in order to try to mitigate or to try and decrease the spread of COVIDDr. Anu

19 within a school environment and making it safe both for teachers, staff, as well as students. So it really depends on how well the school is following county guidelines, as well as the CDC, as well as the AAP guidelines. I would say me personally as a pediatrician, it’s really tricky because you do hear about kids being carriers and being asymptomatic like we talked about. A majority of these asymptomatic carriers are younger individuals. So the screening measures that you talk about when it’s implemented in schools, is it really effective? It may not be and then there’s a lot of trust that’s being placed on families as well as the parents to truly report if there, someone is sick at home or if the child is sick, and having that open communication an efficient and effective communication between the school and the families. So my advice in general that I’ve given is, parents really need to have an open discourse with their school, understand what the CDC and the AAP and the county regulations are asking of schools to do and see if their schools are implementing it and have a talk with the school officials to get all your questions answered and of course, come talk to us to get your questions answered as well.

Karl Schmid

Yeah and. Yeah, and you know, I mean, it just goes to show there’s, it’s hard to have a right answer on any of these questions, ’cause there are still so many unknowns about this virus. We’ve got about a minute left. So last question, this is from Sherry in Woodland Hills, wants to know, should I get tested even if I don’t have symptoms?

Dr. Anu

And the answer is, you don’t really have to get tested if you don’t have symptoms. But if you are concerned, let’s say that you are visiting your grandfather that is 88 years old and considered to be high risk, if you want to get tested so that you are safe in order to see him, then you can consider to do so, but the pretest probability meaning the reliability of testing if you don’t have symptoms, is not that great. So that’s something to consider. But I would say it really depends on your own situation and your own health.

Karl Schmid

Right, if you’re hanging out at home and still doing the physical distancing, and you’re by yourself, and you’re not displaying symptoms, perhaps not. If you’re going to put, be out and put someone who may be at risk, at risk, and it’s unavoidable, might be worth checking out. That is all the time we have, I know I love chatting to you. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule. It’s always a pleasure to see you.

Dr. Anu

It’s always a pleasure to see you too, Karl.

Karl Schmid

That’s gonna do it for this episode of +Talk on +Life. For any more information on what we’ve covered today, be sure to check out the website, pluslifemedia.com. And remember, you can follow us across social media @pluslifemedia. Until next time, remember live your best life, turn positive into a plus. We’ll see you next time.

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