Covid Update January 2022

Dear Friends 

Let’s just say that much” has happened in the last few weeks 

I do have this hope that this will be over, soon. I hope COVID is like a huge wave that is rushing towards the shore, but then, instead, tripped up, and tumbles gently on a sandy beach, fully spentSpilling us like flotsam, in a soft surge at high tide, so we are left marooned but safe, on the warm sand, enjoying the sun and cocktails, possibly by February (please) 

Many patients in Berry have already contracted COVID, it looks like its 90% Omicron. Most of our patients report mild flu like symptoms, aches and pains, fatigue fever, headaches, and cough. People have just rested, taken fluids, and stayed up and about, in their own house and garden. The virus is blunted by the vaccine and Omicron is milder, in most cases. 

If you are tested positive you can download your positive RAT on the NSW Services APP.  

At our Practice, we have been providing Telehealth support to our patients. General Practice, as it stands, cannot offer much in the way of active treatment at the surgery. So, our job is to provide back up and help patients decide if they need hospital care and direct them towards the correct services. Early intervention for high-risk patients is critical. Early treatments are provided via Service NSW and then the hospital. (remember the drug Sotrovimab) They may also organize ICU support to those who unfortunately become very unwell. For kids who catch COVID, mostly it is mild, but doctors will be targeting the immunosuppressed, those with serious chronic conditions or severe obesity.  

The systems are morphing very rapidly, to cope. We are, right now, in the heat of battle and we are of one mind, working together. Hospital clinicians are valiantly and quickly arranging services for adults, pregnant women, and children, who contract COVID. 

The goal is to keep people safe.  

To that end we are offering boosters as quickly as we can. Vaccines fly in and fly out, we ran clinics between XMAS and New year, every Saturday and through the week. Currently the booster dose is offered 4 months after your second dose. Come February, it will be 3 months. Get your dose wherever you can. 

Please, if you had the AstraZeneca doses, you must have had your booster by NOW. 

Berry Pharmacy has been terrific, sharing the load. There is not much difference between Pfizer or Moderna as a booster. Both have generally mild side effects  

We are next offering the rollout to children Ages 5-11 at our special clinics, we have allocated all our doses and await confirmation of more to come. Please be patient. 

At this point, if you are immunised but have not hit the virus, then it’s a matter of getting prepared. You will need supplies of simple Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and please talk with your family about how you might manage if you are isolated for 7 days.  Best to assume this will happen and to be ready. Expect the virus to be significant but not life threatening. If you do get a surprise and find yourself very unwell, watch for shortness of breath, dizziness, fevers, drowsiness, racing heart or feeling faint. Then you should let someone know and services will spring to help. You may need an ambulance and hospital. Whilst at home, we will ask you to measure things like your temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and Oxygen saturations. 

Its alot like having a baby, you should expect it will go well and know the backup services are ready if you need them. Planning on that is a lot more useful than just worrying about what could happen. Try to keep an objective assessment of your symptoms. 

Of course, we will all need Rapid Antigen Tests, and these should be easier to get. Please wear masks, socially distance, and avoid big groups, unless they are in well ventilated spaces.  

In Summary, just to say… hang in there, this virus could be kinder than we feared, and this might be the last time you need a wordy COVID update 

Cheers 

Neil Donovan on behalf of Berry Medical Centre