How to Have a Virtual Thanksgiving

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, people long to get together with extended family, and surveys indicate that more than half of all Americans plan to travel for this Thanksgiving. However, we are also seeing record numbers of COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Given this uncontrolled disease transmission throughout most of the United States, theContinue reading “How to Have a Virtual Thanksgiving”

Showing our Appreciation to Health Care Workers

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has been a divisive issue prompting political, ideological and medical debates. No matter our views and beliefs, though, one thing that we should all agree on is that our hospitals, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, laboratory scientists, pharmacists and all the many health care workers that it takesContinue reading “Showing our Appreciation to Health Care Workers”

The President of the United States has been hospitalized with COVID – What are the Lessons for us and What should we do?

Last night, the President and First Lady were diagnosed with COVID, and today, the President was flown to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in an abundance of caution and for closer observation and monitoring. Today, the President reportedly received at least one, and potentially two, therapies that are neither FDA-approved or authorized under compassionateContinue reading “The President of the United States has been hospitalized with COVID – What are the Lessons for us and What should we do?”

Is it Safe to Fly on Commercial Airlines?

I have been asked this more than once. And, I don’t actually know the answer, because I don’t know of any good studies that address this question. There is little debate that in some cases, there do appear to be infections that can be traced back to flights. But, I have no idea how manyContinue reading “Is it Safe to Fly on Commercial Airlines?”

Reopening Schools Safely

I have been an outspoken critic of school boards making decisions to reopen schools for in-person classes in areas with high degrees of community spread of COVID without giving due consideration to public health advice and medical input and without articulating their reasoning when choosing not to follow this advice. I do appreciate that theContinue reading “Reopening Schools Safely”

The Long Term Effects of COVID

The most common misinformation that I hear about COVID is not “this is a hoax” or “masks don’t work” or “kids don’t get sick” or “kids don’t transmit COVID” or “this is no worse than the flu.” It is a statement that goes like this, “Opening schools must be based on decisions that balance theContinue reading “The Long Term Effects of COVID”

School Boards Should Not Get Blanket Liability Protections for Reopening Decisions

The following is an opinion piece I wrote that was published in the Idaho Press Tribune. It has long been established in every jurisdiction of our country, that those who provide certain products or services to the public and consumers can be held liable for providing those products or services without the exercise of reasonableContinue reading “School Boards Should Not Get Blanket Liability Protections for Reopening Decisions”

What We Think We Know about Immunity for SARS-CoV-2 – How I would explain it to a Fifth Grader

Some physicians have been pushing for people to get antibody tests for COVID in ways that I believe have been irresponsible. Recently, I commented on twitter (@drpatesblog) on yet another case, in which a patient with documented COVID infection was tested for antibodies 40 days following the resolution of his illness, and antibodies were notContinue reading “What We Think We Know about Immunity for SARS-CoV-2 – How I would explain it to a Fifth Grader”