The war against COVID-19 rages on, but it may be peaking soon. Though this is difficult to imagine with over 400,000 confirmed coronavirus cases over 14,000 deaths in the United States. April 7, 2020 brought a record number, 1,858, of nationally reported deaths due to the virus. And, unfortunately, the forecasting models indicate that the worst is yet to come. Experts predict we’ll hit the highest number of deaths in a single day over Easter weekend. But, don’t despair – there is some good news on the horizon. In New York, fewer patients are being hospitalized, needing ventilators, and the number of cases has slowed down. The forecasting models also predict fewer deaths overall. While initially estimated at around 82,000, the new estimate is a little more than 60,000 deaths. This means our preventative measures are working – so please keep up the good work!

Don’t Drink Hand Sanitizer!

This has been very concerning to me. The Michigan Poison Center reports receiving calls about some folks consuming hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol. Both products do contain alcohol, but it’s not the kind you can drink. These items are poisonous if ingested and can land you in the hospital. Besides drinking hand sanitizer, some folks are using dangerous substitutes. These include: 

  • Antifreeze
  • Chafing Fuel
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Paint Thinner
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

I’ve even seen reports of people drinking antifreeze, which is extremely dangerous. Please do not misuse these products in these ways. Do not consume them or use them on your hands. They can cause serious burns to your mouth, throat, stomach, eyes, and skin. The best way to sanitize your hands is still just regular soap and water. 

If you do wish to make your own hand sanitizer my recommendation is this:

  • ⅔ cup rubbing alcohol or ethanol
  • ⅓ cup aloe vera
  • 1-3 drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)

Glasses or Contact Lenses?

While the pandemic continues, The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing glasses instead of contact lenses. This is for two reasons. The first is that you are less likely to touch or rub your eyes while wearing glasses. It may even help serve as a reminder to avoid touching your eyes and face. And second, the glasses can actually act as a tiny shield to help protect your eyes from respiratory droplets containing the coronavirus. But, if you do need to wear contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before putting your lenses in or taking them out.

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