BANGOR — It’s been almost one year since the first COVID-19 case appeared in the United States.
“We’ve learned a lot in the past 10 months, and our practice is very different than it was just 10 months ago,” said Dr. James Jarvis of Northern Light Health.
We know social distancing, wearing masks, and washing our hands can help prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
We also know older adults and those with a compromised immune system are most at risk.
However, according to Jarvis, the virus acts in mysterious ways.
“The problem with this virus is its unpredictability, there are people who are healthy who do poorly with the disease. And then there are people who we are surprised that are infected with COVID-19 and you would think with their co-morbid conditions, and there other chronic medical conditions, who are fine,” he said.
At the start of the pandemic, we heard a lot about the need for ventilators.
In the past year, we have learned putting someone on a ventilator can be more detrimental than beneficial.
“We try to delay putting people on ventilators. Unfortunately, there are still some people who require that. You don’t hear us talking about ventilators like you did in the beginning of the pandemic,” said Jarvis.
Jarvis said we have learned contracting the virus is cumulative and happens over time.
“If you’re with a co-worker and with them for five minutes now, an hour later you’re with them for five minutes, and then two hours after that you’re with them for another five minutes, that’s that cumulative effect. What we now know about this virus is that it’s the amount you actually breathe in,” he said.
The vaccine can protect against coronavirus but we are still currently in Phase 1A, which includes health care workers and the elderly.
Jarvis said to plan on the process going through the summer and possibly into fall.
He said the biggest issue right now is a lack of supply of the vaccine nationally and in Maine.