Lakewood Doctors to the Kehilla: We believe that we are NOT yet at a point where social distancing can be relaxed AT ALL

To all members of our Lakewood kehillah, 25 Nissan 5780/April 19, 2020,

COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has led to disruption of life and to terrible illness and death in our community. The most vulnerable group of patients are those over 60, but some young adults have been severely affected as well. There have been close to 50 deaths from our community and we still have tens of patients on ventilators in the intensive care units at area hospitals.

As much as we want to come out of these restrictions of social distancing, we have to be aware that the virus is still spreading and causing new infections. If we let down our guard we may, chas ve’shalom, see an increase in new cases and deaths.

We believe that we are NOT at a point where social distancing can be relaxed yet AT ALL. There is no safe way to gather together (due to aerosolized respiratory droplets). It is not safe to share items between households. Visiting different households, even among family members, cannot occur yet.

Each of us can have an impact on the LIFE of our immediate families, our grandparents, our neighbors. We must remain vigilant to avoid real sakanas nefashos!

Our response to this pandemic needs to be responsible. Our lives and the lives of our loved ones are at stake. Please note:

  • COVID-19 is often spread by asymptomatic carriers, i.e., people who have NO symptoms but spread respiratory droplets full of virus to others via regular social contact (speaking within close proximity of one another, touching each other).
  • Unlike many other infectious diseases, spreading the virus may occur several days before people develop symptoms of illness, i.e., someone who first develops symptoms on Thursday may have been spreading virus to many people on the previous Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • COVID-19 is much more contagious than we ever expected; 2.3 million people have already been documented to have this disease, but the numbers are probably much higher.
  • COVID-19 remains on surfaces of items for up to 4 days (cardboard for 24 hours, wood and cloth for 2 days, metal and plastic for 3 days, and glass and paper money for 4 days).
  • The bottoms of shoes can pick up virus and bring it into homes; this is especially important where children play on the floor.
  • Although social distancing has been recommended as “6 feet apart,” recent data confirms that respiratory droplets with the virus travel 13 feet. The virus can even stay aerosolized in the air for up to 3 hours.
  • A mask should be worn over your nose and mouth when you are grocery shopping; this will protect you, as well as protect others from your respiratory droplets.
  • People who have had COVID-19 may be contagious for weeks, even after resolution of all symptoms and may not be immune. Hopefully, further studies and FDA approved, validated antibody testing will shed more light on this subject in the near future.
  • Hydoxychloroquine has not emerged as the “cure” drug that some hoped it to be, but more data is needed to determine its appropriate use.
  • Remdesivir, IL-6 inhibitors, and convalescent plasma are hopeful treatments that are being studied and may save lives, but we need to learn more about these treatments.

We are constantly learning more about this deadly virus and the data from yesterday may be irrelevant today. Every day brings new knowledge and we hope that the future will bring better treatments and mechanisms that can allow a return to a more normal life, BE”H.

Daniel Roth, MD Howard Lebowitz, MD Reuven Shanik, MD

Jonathan Cohen, MD Allen Lempel, MD Dovid Friedman, MD

Dovid Ogun , MD Daniel Lapidus, MD Micah May, MD

Shalom Aharon Fenster, MD Yaacov Zamel, MD Neal Gittleman, MD

Mordechai Tarlow, MD Baruch Kassover, MD Lawrence Shoner, MD

Yisrael Kadosh, MD Jeffrey Kaminetzky, MD Hillel Peltz, DO

Rabbi Sruli Fried, MSW on behalf of CHAI Lifeline Binyomin Greenberg, MD

Dr. Shimshi Zimmerman, Medical Director of Hatzolah of Central Jersey

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  1. I can’t agree more with this article and advice from the medical professionals. People are thinking this pandemic is over. It’s NOT! Please keep to social distancing, wear gloves and masks… Thank you
    To all those who need Refuahs may you all have a Refuah shliema bekorov.

  2. So happy they’ve publicized this. They’re the experts, we need to heed their advice.
    Very surprised that people would actually have to hear this, it’s fairly obvious, but if really needed, crucial

  3. Why is there no mention of trying to improve your immune function through healthy eating and proper vitamins? The least these doctors can do is to tell us how to properly prepare ourselves by strengthening our immunity to fight this infection. This is basics and they don’t have a clue!!!!!

    • I would be interested to know their perspective on taking immune boosting vitamins and supplements. Vitamin C and D are always considered good cold/virus immune boosters. Taking them now is likely a good idea but I think in this specific case Zinc and Quercetin should be carefully looked at and researched. The reason why Hydroxychloroquine has been effective (while perhaps not a magic cure it’s had an abundance of good results especially when taken early on) because of its combination with zinc. It essentially allows zinc to enter cells and inhibit virus replication. It’s a zinc ionophore. Quercetin has been shown to act similarly. In addition it was rated number 5 in a supercomputer simulation study out of 8000 already approved compounds to potentially block entry of the virus into cells. It’s been suggested by a leading doctor at Eastern Virginia Medical school and another Harvard researcher. Montreal researchers are currently studying its effects on Covid19 in a clinical trial. They’ve found it worked in vitro in inhibiting SARS,Ebola and Zika. It’s also had positive results against Influenza. The bottom line is it may or may not work but people should at least be informed that taking safe supplements early on may help inhibit the virus from progressing Biezras Hashem. I would love for the doctors above to research these supplements and perhaps advise symptomatic people in taking them(or perhaps even as a prophylaxis).

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