Ajijic Doctor joins bi-national webinar panel on Latinos.
Dr. Santiago Hernandez, M.D., Medical Director of Chapala Med.
Patrick O’Heffernan (Ajijic)- HispanicPro’s Webinar “What Latinos Need to Know About Coronavirus and their Health” was aired live on Wednesday from Chicago. Dr. Santiago Hernandez, M.D., Medical Director of Chapala Med and RMC Hospital was joined by Emergency Physician Dr. Pilar Ortega M.D., and Geraldine Luna, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois Chicago. The Zoom webinar was attended by people in the US and Mexico by internet and telephone and was in English.
Dr. Ortega, who chairs the Medical Organization for Latino Advancement, explained that Latinos need to understand that Covid-19 infections grow exponentially every day: “Covid-19 is more contagious than any virus we have seen.” Dr. Luna echoed this, noting that models show a single person can infect 59,495 other people if they do not isolate themselves. “We need to flatten the curve and staying home reduces fatalities and flattens the curve,” she said.
Dr. Santiago noted that the infection numbers in Mexico were low, but possibly underreported. He understood that many in the Mexican community may not be taking the virus seriously and think it is like the H1N1 flu, which it is not.
Announcement of HispanicPro webinar with Ajijic physician Dr. Santiago Hernandez of Chapala Med.
“People in Mexico have big families and are very social; they have a hard time saying “no” to request for visits or family gatherings, “ Dr. Hernandez said, adding “ It is hard to isolate big families in Mexico – it is who we are. Unfortunately, our cultural norms that give us our identity may harm us.” He suggested that Mexican families say” no” to visits by explaining it is a way to protect the family.
The panel recommended frequent handwashing, noting that disinfectant gels are only 70% effective while thorough handwashing is 90% effective. The also refused to recommend any of the drugs now big promoted as cures saying that staying home is the best preventative. The panel also recommended wearing cloth masks when you leave the house, although they are not perfect and should not give us a false sense of confidence.
Dr. Santiago told the audience that this is a unique time in world history, “it will change our world and our mindset, he said, “I am grateful every day to be alive and not sweat the small stuff or the numbers and focus on the hopeful stories.”