Faith, medicine and COVID-19

West Church pastor Rev. Dr. Andrea Smith and local physicians Dr. John and Dr. LuAnne Gatlin answer questions and address your fears about COVID-19 from a faith perspective.



This question came in after the Q&A. We are printing here as a public service to viewers.

Question #1 — My spouse is 64 with high blood pressure and asthma. She is trying to stay home since she seems to be in the higher risk group. But I, 63 and healthy, have been going out on a limited basis (groceries, Lowes, etc.) practicing social distancing and hand washing. Should I stop going out and avoid all contact so that I don’t put my wife at higher risk by bringing germs home? Or is what we are doing reasonable?

Question #2 — Similar to above… we have friends/family where one member in the household is greater risk than above from multiple, serious health issues and in one case compromised immune system. Should they and their healthy spouse completely quarantine or is it okay for one or both to go get groceries (curbside pickup vs. physically going in the store), pickup coffee at Starbucks, etc.

Dr. John Gatlin’s response: These are excellent questions. The answers are the same for both. If the lower risk individuals practice social distancing, proper hand washing while outside and definitely when coming back home there should be limited risks. However at this time it is sill recommend to limit outside exposure as it sounds like they are doing.

In addition, the at-risk individuals need to be extra cautious with their own hand washing, keeping frequently touched areas cleaned and not sharing anything directly with others.

Finally an ex-CDC Director is recommending higher risk individuals should increase their Vitamin D intake as this may help their immune status short term, I would recommend a 5000 unit capsule daily.