In separate interviews, Tom Quatroche Jr. of Erie County Medical Center, Mark Sullivan of Catholic Health and Jody Lomeo of Kaleida Health – who all carry the title of president and CEO – gave advice to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The CEOs all stressed that everyone in the region should take the following steps – none of which should surprise anyone by now.
Stay home: Limit contact with those who don’t live with you. When you venture out, stay at least 6 feet from others. Limit your circle of contacts to 10 or fewer people. Understand these recommendations will get more restrictive during a surge.
If you get sick: Stay home. If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, call your primary care office and follow your provider’s recommendations. If you start having shortness of breath, call again and decide whether an emergency visit is best. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, call an urgent care center, the ECMC Family Health Center at 831-8612 or Internal Medicine Center at 898-3152.
Wash your hands often: Soap and water is best, for at least 20 seconds. Clean between your fingers and include the wrists.
Practice good health: Eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, enjoying them rarely at most. Exercise regularly. Get at least seven hours of sleep. Take medications for other conditions as prescribed.
Keep this in perspective: Almost everyone is doing what they can to limit the spread of infection and help where they can, the hospital leaders said. It will take at least several weeks before surges subside and restrictions, gradually, fall away. “This is a marathon,” Quatroche said. “This is not a sprint.”
It’s also important to know that health workers – all the way to the top – understand what others are going through. They personally understand the stakes.
“My mother knows I will not see her for 45 days,” said Sullivan, who is in his early 50s. “I'll Skype, but I just I just don't want to take a chance of anything happening to her. She has monitoring devices; she has Facebook; she has food. That’s how we should approach this coronavirus.”