When patients are not around, we are in the office, looking at charts, and we are shrugging our shoulders wondering why people won’t stay home.

About 30% of people sick with coronavirus that need hospitalization will end up on a ventilator. Of the people who end up on a ventilator, 50-80% will never go home. That’s what’s happening. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how healthy you are. It can happen to anyone. This is real life.

I talked to another doctor who said that most of his patients who are testing positive for COVID-19 are between the ages of 25 and 45. They are healthy people who are going about their lives and have been going about their lives in the weeks before they tested positive. That means they’re going grocery shopping. They’re going to Home Depot. They’re going to Academy. They’re going to all the places you are going and you think are safe. When you’re going on a quick run to the grocery store or a restaurant to pick something up… that’s where it is right now.

The best way to survive this pandemic is not to get the virus. The best way not to get the virus is to stay home. This is not the time for a quarantine crawfish boil or quarantine playdates or quarantine parties. I understand that you need things to do, but if you could come to the hospital, you would see that it’s just not worth it to start a flower garden. If you do have to go out, as soon as you get home, you need to be stripping down, washing your hands, taking a shower, and then wiping down everything you just came home with.

If you don’t take responsibility for you or your loved ones, your loved ones are going to end up in the hospital, and we’re not going to know what to do to help you. At that point when you get on the ventilator, there’s really nothing else we can do. That’s just straight talk. I’m sorry. 

The good news is we now have a 45-minute test. So we know within an hour if you have it. So far, it’s amazing.

There is a catch, however. The accuracy of the test is about 75% and it lacks negative predictive value. This means that a negative test does not necessarily rule out that you don’t have coronavirus. If we test 100 people we know for a fact have coronavirus, only 75 of them will test positive. A lot of our diagnoses are based on things like chest X-rays, lab, history, and how you present. So if a doctor feels strongly that you have coronavirus, it’s likely that you have it even if your test is negative. I had a patient that tested negative for coronavirus and, later, I was able to test for coronavirus antibodies and she had those. The test was wrong. 

I am in no official position. I’m not the CDC, FDA, or Dr. Fauci but, from my observations, I recommend mandatory shutdown. If you are a business that is still open you should have mandatory observations for how many people can be in your store, why you’re still open, what makes you essential, and protocols for all the workers and people inside to promote social distancing and wearing masks. If you’re not doing all of those things, you should not be open because you’re putting people in jeopardy. 

Lock it down.

To watch an entire video of Dr. McSharma explaining COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic, tune into the Melissa Kristin YouTube Channel (video embedded below). You can also catch Dr. McSharma on PrizeCast this week on Facebook Watch and YouTube.

This article has been transcribed with permission from a video series by Dr. Jaya McSharma. The videos are embedded below: