The head of the country’s main medical group says we are waging ‘yesterday’s war’ against the coronavirus pandemic


FILE – In this file photo from Aug.31, 2021, a registered nurse holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the intensive medical care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. An advocacy group for the elderly has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Idaho over state guidelines on “standards of crisis care” for overwhelmed hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. Justice in Aging wants the US Department of Health and Human Services to investigate Idaho’s healthcare rationing plan, saying it discriminates against older people by using factors such as age to prioritize patients who can access life-saving care. (AP Photo / Kyle Green, File)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – By air, sea and land, when the nation’s troops train, they often train for the next war. So what is a former US Air Force medic who spent three years at the home of 1st fighter squadron, in Hampton, Virginia, have to say about the status of the war against the coronavirus pandemic?

“It’s a bit like fighting the next war. Looks like we were fighting yesterday ‘s war ”, declared Dr Gerald Harmon, who was appointed president of the American Medical Association last year.

Maya Goode, a COVID-19 technician, performs a test on Jessica Sanchez outside the Asthenis Pharmacy in Providence, RI on December 7, 2021. Scientists are seeing signals that the alarming COVID-19 omicron wave could have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the United States, in which case cases may start to drop dramatically. (AP Photo / David Goldman, on file)

WADA joined the Advertising advice to spread the word about the coronavirus pandemic, which Harmon says is still a winnable war.

“We can still overcome this. We can handle this transmissibility [omicron]. The best way to protect yourself from illness or death is to get vaccinated and implement public social health measures, ”Harmon said.

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But on the way to victory, Harmon says the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention created a potential setback by reducing the recommended isolation time from 10 days to five days for those recovering from coronavirus infection. They should wear a mask for the next five days when surrounded by other people.

The CDC has confirmed a new fatal case of melioidosis in a patient from Georgia. Health officials believe this year’s four cases – which were seen in four separate states – could have a common source in a tainted imported product. (AP Photo / David Goldman, on file)

“It’s confusing; I think it’s a risk. We have data – even on the CDC’s website – that shows up to one in three people still shed the virus and are contagious after five days. So I am concerned that if we put a significant number of people back into the workforce and into schools, we could – unintentionally – spread a fair amount of a highly contagious virus in the community and exacerbate the problem, ”said Harmon in a Zoom interview.

So what are the doctor’s orders?

“I tell my patients and recommend a minimum of seven days because most studies have actually shown that you stop shedding the virus in five to six days, but seven is definitely more confidence to have. lack of a negative test and we have a shortage of these supplies, ”Harmon said.

A long queue forms outside the COVID-19 test site at the Military Circle Mall in Norfolk on Monday, January 3, 2022. (WAVY PHOTO)

And, he has a weapon for the parallel war against the pandemic misinformation and disinformation that often spreads on social media.

“If you’re going to be spending time surfing the internet looking for things on social media, go to That way, you will be encouraged to get vaccinated and take the public health measures we need to take to prevent the transmission of this virus, ”Harmon added.

Regina Mobley: “If you were to write a letter to doctors for the year 2050, what lessons would you share with them on what we have learned about the coronavirus pandemic which was first identified in 2020?

Dr. Gerald Harmon: “Think about the next pandemic; be proactive about what we are doing right now.

Inspired by the physician and patriot of the American Revolutionary War Dr Joseph Warren, Harmon has some advice for doctors of the future who will fight the next global pandemic.

“Act worthy of yourself; you have a strong vocation for health professionals. Use all these talents for the public good. Do what you and I wrote about applying to medical school or nursing school: “I want to serve humanity with my skills. “Act worthy of yourself,” Harmon said.

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