COVID 19 is real. It's time to shut everything down.

While I am generally not an alarmist, cases of COVID19 continue to increase, including deaths. I have heard from colleagues in Seattle that things are already out of hand there. The attached graph shows that we are currently on the same trajectory as Italy who has 17,660 cases and 1268 deaths, and climbing. We have 5 times the population, so in a few weeks our numbers will likely be five times worse. While it will probably be another 2 to 3 weeks before federal or local officials shut everything down, we are already behind. I am recommending that anyone over 65 stay home and self-quarantine unless absolutely necessary. All other should also stay home, with limited trips outside for essentials (groceries, medications). This means no family gatherings, working out at the gym, play dates, etc. Going outdoors for exercise is OK, as long as social distancing is maintained. This will be hard for everyone, but it will save lives. In addition, frequent hand washing is a must. Currently, my practice is open, but I am evaluating this on a day to day basis, and will likely soon be transitioning to mostly telemedicine.

Matthew L. Mintz, MD, FACP

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