COVID-19 Medical Dos and Don’ts

Not every “doctor” knows what they’re talking about, especially if their COVID-19 medical advice is to treat it just like the flu.

In this new COVID-19 era, it’s often hard to know who to trust when it comes to medical advice. With around-the-clock pandemic coverage on TV, folks are inundated by all manner of sources including so-called experts. So what’s the average person supposed to do?

COVID-19 medical advice
Be careful who you take medical advice from.

Usually we don’t have time to research a supposed doctor’s educational background and alleged experience. In that case, look for telltale signs such as is he or she wearing scrubs, do they have a stethoscope hanging around their neck and does their specialty end in the letters “ologist.”

Even these key signs can’t guarantee that you’re listening to a bona fide expert. One handy hint is to be suspicious of any doctors named Seuss, Jekyll or Frankenstein.

It’s also crucial that you don’t pay attention to any doctor with a one-syllable name like Oz, Phil or Drew. Although such folks may have a medical degree, they tend to spout off on any and all topics regardless of their actual knowledge.

So if you’re listening to a guy named Drew whose COVID-19 medical advice is to treat it just like the flu, or someone named Phil who cites 360,000 annual swimming pool deaths in the U. S., or a Dr. Oz who’s OK with a 2-3% mortality rate for reopening schools — don’t automatically give any credence to their views. Not every “doctor” knows what they’re talking about.

Which brings us to my next guideline: don’t take medical advice from someone who is not a doctor or a research specialist. Say someone is touting an untested anti-malarial for COVID-19 or muses out loud about ingesting or injecting a disinfectant. Even if the person is a big time VIP or a known stable genius, do take such advice with a grain of salt (but no more than a grain since more salt than that might be dangerous).

This advice also applies to any medical pronouncements coming from a Cabinet member or a White House spokesperson. Remember; these folks are trained in pivoting and doublespeak and not in the medical arts.

And don’t forget that you may be watching a source that is wholly unreliable. A helpful shorthand rule is to avoid any network or anchor named after a woodland animal such as a fox or a wolf.

Finally, don’t be concerned about anything said by any person of color living in the White House unless that color is orange.

David Martin
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