COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On March 31, FOX21 gathered a team of local experts to answer your coronavirus questions in a primetime panel.
In case you missed the event, here’s a recap of the questions we asked Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, Dr. Leon Kelly with the El Paso County Health Department, El Paso County Medical Director Dr. Robin Johnson, and UCCS psychology professor Dr. Charles Benight. Watch each video to hear their answers.
Mayor Suthers–We have marijuana dispensaries, liquor stores, and, recently, Hobby Lobby stores still open. How do you determine if a business is essential and permitted to stay open?
Dr. Kelly–We held a panel just like this two weeks ago. What do we know now about COVID-19 that we didn’t know then? What have we learned thus far?
Dr. Johnson–Why are people who are exhibiting all the symptoms of COVID not being tested? Isn’t it important to warn others who may have been exposed? Are there enough tests and, for that matter, ventilators?
Dr. Benight–I lost a loved one to coronavirus. Where can I find support?
Mayor Suthers–Can you, and would you, enforce safety measures upon businesses that remain open, such as taking employees’ temperatures, having one-way aisles, and wearing gloves?
Dr. Kelly–If you think you have the coronavirus, is there anything that’s helping that you should take? We’ve heard doctors say not to take ibuprofen. Is that true, and if so, why not?
Dr. Johnson–Does malaria medicine help you get over the coronavirus faster?
Dr. Benight–FOX21 viewer Kristen asks: how do we help our grade school kids who are feeling incredibly lonely and are missing friends? We’ve FaceTimed friends, but that hasn’t helped much.
Mayor Suthers–We know stimulus checks are on the way, but what if we can’t pay our bills right now?
Dr. Kelly and Dr. Johnson–My 90-year-old parents live in a community of 5,000 people. They insist on continuing to go grocery shopping, because the virus is not confirmed in their community yet. How can I explain to them they need to stay home?
Dr. Johnson–Explain why surfaces should still be wiped down. How long can the virus live on different surfaces? And can it be transmitted on money and mail?
Dr. Benight–FOX21 viewer Joe asks: With the amount of military in this city, many of whom have anxiety caused by PTSD, what can they do to help their mental health while being told to stay home, especially if they live alone?
Mayor Suthers–People are still having a hard time applying for unemployment benefits or food stamps. What is being done to meet the demand?
Dr. Kelly–Is there a certain blood type that is less likely to get the coronavirus? Also, are there any other common characteristics of people getting the virus?
Dr. Johnson–Once you’ve had the virus, can you get it again?
Dr. Benight–Some 12-step programs are canceling meetings because of COVID-19, which could mean less access to someone’s means of long-term recovery, in turn worsening another health problem: drug or alcohol abuse. What do you suggest these folks do?
Mayor Suthers–FOX21 viewer Thad asks: What about the homeless? How are they “quarantined?” How do we keep coronavirus away form them?
Dr. Kelly–The CDC talks about how diabetes is a pre-existing condition. Does it make a difference if it’s Type 1 or Type 2? And what are some other underlying conditions that make people vulnerable?
Dr. Johnson–How do former and retired healthcare workers find out about assisting?
Dr. Benight–The most vulnerable are the elderly. Can the isolation take a toll on their mental health? If so, how can we make sure they’re safe and not lonely?
Mayor Suthers–We’ve got a number of questions on the stay-at-home order. Can you expand on the order and help define what people can and can’t do?
Dr. Kelly–Is there any evidence that COVID-19 will be a seasonal event, like flu season? Looking at other virus behaviors, could this stay around long enough and begin to mutate?
Dr. Johnson–Who should be wearing masks: people who are infected, people trying to not get infected, or both?
Dr. Benight–In an age where we are so attached to our devices, and usually less concerned about face-to-face contact, why is it so many people feel inclined not to social distance themselves, and do the opposite?
Mayor Suthers–What happens if non-essential businesses continue to operate?
Dr. Kelly–If a delivery and shopping service is at the grocery store on my behalf, should they wear gloves? Should someone check them for symptoms? Also, even if we’re shopping ourselves, do we need to be wiping all of our purchased items down?
Dr. Johnson–How do people vet the accurate information from the misinformation? What are some key things to look for from sources?
Dr. Benight–What are some ways we can stay connected with the outside world during stay-at-home orders?
Mayor Suthers–People seem to be still gathering in parks and trails. What can be done?
All the panelists–We asked you this two weeks ago. A lot of people are saying this is just a huge overreaction. We’re asking you again: are we overreacting? Is this an overreaction?
All the panelists–Your final thoughts?