Dr. David Price, a critical care pulmonologist caring for COVID-19 patients in New York City at Weill Cornell Medical Center, lays out exactly what people need to do to prevent catching the virus, how to know if they have it, and what to do if they get it, in a must-see video posted to social media.
“You may hear a little inflection in my voice like I’m emotional. It’s not because I’m scared. It’s actually the opposite. For the first time in a while, I’m actually not scared,” Price said in the video, now going viral.
“I work at probably the premier hospital in New York City. Our hospital is almost exclusively a COVID-19 hospital, but we’re learning and we know a lot. And what I want you guys to know is that every single day we’re getting better, we know more. And I am confident that the stuff I can tell you today should make you guys feel like when this comes to your community that you don’t have to be scared and that you can protect your family.”
Dr. Price wants everyone to know: “This disease is a wimp. Coronavirus is a wimp. It dies as soon as you disinfect it.” And it breaks down immediately when people wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer.
The doctor says 90% of the transmission is purely from picking up the germ on your hands and then literally putting it into our own bodies.
“The ways that you get this is the transmission of the virus almost exclusively from your hands to your face, from your hands to your face and inside your eyes, into your nose or into your mouth,” Price said.
As for catching the virus through the air, you’re safer than you think, Dr. Price said.
“There’s also a small thought that it can be aerosolized, that it can kind of exist a little bit in the air,” Price said. “The thought at this point is that you actually have to have very long sustained contact with someone. And I’m talking about over 15 to 30 minutes in an unprotected environment, meaning you’re in a very closed room without any type of mask for you to get it that way.”
So it’s all about washing your hands.
“Very to very simply state, the overwhelming majority of people are getting this by physically touching someone who has this disease or will develop it in the next one to two days and then touching their face,” he said.
“That is incredibly empowering. The thing that makes me smile a little bit is I actually know now that I won’t get this disease because I know how to protect myself,” Dr. Price said, despite the fact that he’s exposed to the virus daily.
It’s simple, he said.
“Become a hand Nazi. Everything you know about your hands, just keep it clean and you will not get this disease,” Price said.
“The second thing is you have to start psychologically working on the connection between your hands and your face.” He suggests wearing a medical mask just to become aware of how often you touch your face.
“Those two things combined is incredibly powerful and will prevent the transmission of disease in your family in 99% of cases, to know your hands are clean and not touch your face, period,” Dr. Price said.
The doctor also said people can go outside, take a walk or a jog, and shop. All they need to do is be hyper aware of their hands — and never touch their faces.