Two years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new variant, Omicron, which is much more transmissible than the original virus, is now spreading in Shanghai where a city-wide lockdown strategy was implemented.
At the moment we are still in the middle of the fight, and the impossibility of movement, concerns for our family members and uncertainty of the future, naturally cause us to become anxious and discouraged.
Dr. Robert Kohlbacher, General Practitioner from Parkway, answers most common questions on how we can cope with this situation.
1| Are there any precautions we need to take during lockdown?
This is a pretty broad question. In terms of Covid-19 precautions not so much. Most western sources discount the risk of catching Covid-19 from inanimate objects. In China this is viewed differently and the spraying of disinfectants is widespread. Any delivery objects you receive while in lockdown will very likely have been sprayed upon arrival to your compound. The contents of those bags or boxes could conceivably be contaminated by the virus although the risk for that would be low. The risk of catching Covid-19 from contaminated items would be very very low. Personally I wouldn’t recommend any change to your pre Covid-19 handling of your fruits and vegetables and various delivery items.
2 | How to deal with chronic diseases? What to do if we are running out of medications?
No real change in how you’ve always dealt with your chronic health issues, except now if you have concerns you’ll be contacting your doctor virtually rather than visiting their office. The larger international clinics have arrangements in place to help with your medical questions and your refills. Their supplies and delivery options are likely stretched right now so be smart and start working on refills at least a couple of weeks before you run out of medication.
3 | What shall we do in case ourselves or our families are tested positive?
This is a pretty easy question. Pack a very complete suitcase, pray if you are inclined and see what your local authorities do next. If you’ve been vaccinated and don’t have any major health issues catching Covid-19 isn’t likely to be particularly harrowing from a medical standpoint. How the local authorities choose to handle your case is where things can get spicy.
4 | Will improper use of disinfectants damage my health??
Of course it will. Improper use of most things on the planet will damage your health. Be smart, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and you should be fine.
5 | Shall I take TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for prevention?
By now most of us have had a variety of TCM boxes left on our doorstep. Should you take it? I’ve literally no clue. There’s no rigorous data to be found on the harms/benefits of TCM and the prevention of Covid-19. Could the stuff in those mysterious little boxes hurt you? Maybe. Could it help you? Maybe. Will it protect you from Covid-19? I’ve absolutely no idea. Will it taste good?? Definitely not.
“After 5+ weeks of lockdown, I’m sure there’s more questions out there. While the majority of the physicians in Shanghai’s international clinics are in lockdown just like everyone else, many of them are checking their work emails pretty regularly, just waiting for your questions...” said Dr. Robert Kohlbacher.
From March 18, onwards, Parkway primary care physicians and pediatricians are on call everyday for free online medical advisory every day. For more information or to make appointment please contact us at 400-819-6622.