COVID support brought to you by students from Georgetown University School of Medicine
1. Schedule a Call with a compassionate Medical Student committed to providing emotional support and listening to your personal journey with this virus. We will also do our best to use both features to guide you towards available community resources.
2. Medical Students available for your COVID-19 related questions/concerns, which will be answered straight from a reliable source in a cited manner.
Disclaimer: We are NOT health care professionals or mental health professionals providing therapy, our philosophy is to provide meaningful social interaction with the Call feature and provide you a cited answer straight from the source for question submissions. This webpage is not endorsed by or affiliated Georgetown University Medical Center, and the views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of the administration, faculty or student body of Georgetown University unless specifically stated. It is solely meant to be a helpful resource from several Georgetown medical students who have volunteered their time to helping out during these difficult times.
Follow DC's Progress During this Pandemic
Members of the Georgetown community are working to ensure we stay connected during this pandemic. Click the following link for Sunday Mass live from the Dahlgren Chapel, Daily Chapel Reflections, virtual workouts courtesy of Georgetown's Yates Field House Gym, and Daily Meditation.
Mental Health Support
Project Lighthouse GU is a peer to peer support service developed in consultation of the Georgetown Counseling And Psychiatric Services (CAPS), the office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Health, and Health Education Services (HES). They provide an easy-to-access resource for Hoyas to anonymously voice their concerns to a sympathetic ear, and we discuss and explain resources that could help.
Get in Touch! -
1) Schedule a Call: Fill out this google form with your contact information and preferences to schedule a social call with a student
2) Submit Any Questions and/or Concerns you would like answered about Coronavirus (Pathophysiology, Treatment Protocols, Current Research, Ongoing Initiatives, etc.) and we will do our best to find the most credible resource to email you a reliable, cited answer
Frequently Asked Questions (Updated Daily)
Can COVID-19 be transmitted through food?
Generally coronaviruses are thought to be transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through food. Prior to eating or preparing a meal make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to ensure safety.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration - https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
How is the pandemic going to impact the future of medicine?
This is a difficult question to answer. Medical schools and physicians have had to adapt in ways they never thought they would. Fourth-year medical students are graduating early, and physicians are coming out of retirement to help with the fight against the Coronavirus. World War II and the Influenza pandemic of 1918 saw similar things occur, so while rare, this is not the first time we have seen such measures being taken. The advent of telehealth and the ability to have virtual appointments has eased the consequences of the crisis.
Source: Wired - https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-future-telemedicine/
What is ARDS/what happens to your lungs?
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is defined by the presence of pulmonary edema, or swelling, that occurs when there is damage to the interface between capillaries filled with blood and the alveoli of the lungs. This may occur due to direct injury to the lungs or because of a systemic disease. The mortality rate for someone with ARDS is quite high, at between 40% and 50%. A patient with ARDS may experience shortness of breath and a fast heart rate. The lungs have a difficult time doing their job because the cells are damaged and less surfactant is made, leading to a higher chance of collapse of the lungs.
Source: National Institutes of Health - https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome
How long will it take for a vaccine to come and why does it take so long?
As of April 6, 2020, only three vaccines had been in phase 1 human trials. Typically, there are 4 phases of drug development. The goal of phase 1 is to determine the safety of a drug. Phase 2 trials assess whether or not the vaccine works-this may be measured by analyzing the treatment efficacy, dosing, and adverse effects. Phase 3 is used to compare new vaccines or drugs to the current standard of care, which for the pandemic is social isolation. Finally, phase 4 detects rare and long-term effects. The estimated timeline for a vaccine to combat the Coronavirus pandemic is early-to-mid 2021.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says it could take up to 18 months to produce a safe and effective vaccine. The reason it takes so long is because safety is of utmost importance when developing vaccines. A vaccine must be able to combat a virus while also failing to combat humans. While drugs are usually given to sick patients, vaccines are given to those who are generally healthy. As such, it can take time for the negative effects, if any, of a vaccine to manifest themselves. It is also an expensive process; it can cost up to twenty-five thousand dollars per participant in a vaccine clinical trial.
Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2764366
How long will this quarantine last?
Currently, the U.S. population is in the exponential phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is measured by the number of new cases being proportional to the number of existing cases of infection. According to Dr. James Madara, the CEO of the American Medical Association, “Physical distancing is the only effective mechanism to slow the exponential spread of the virus and decrease the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases across all states.” It is difficult to provide a time when this quarantine will be over, as the situation continues to grow and the peak of cases differs not only from nation to nation but even within nations themselves.
The central government of China imposed a lockdown on Wuhan, where the first cases were confirmed, from January 23 until April 8. While this is an example of how long it may take other countries to end their lockdowns, it could just as well take longer, as the United States has surpassed all other nations in total COVID-19 deaths.
Source: American Medical Association - https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/ama-governors-stay-home-orders-help-limit-covid-19-spread
How long does immunity last?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how long immunity would last due to the lack of statistical data for the pandemic-the outbreak is a few months old. However, there are studies that have shown it takes around 5 days for IgM antibodies and around 14 days for IgG antibodies against Coronavirus to be present in the blood after symptom onset. These antibodies can be used in tests to determine whether or not someone has been infected with the virus. The presence of IgM antibodies may indicate an active or recent infection with the virus whereas the presence of IgG antibodies often indicates a past infection (but may be found in recently infected patients who are still contagious).
Source: PubMed - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32198501
What is the purpose of the Schedule a Call with a Medical Student feature and How does it work?
The purpose of the Call feature is to provide a platform those who wish to simply talk to an empathetic medical student about their personal experiences during this pandemic. This is not a professional medical care or mental health call, but rather a way for the community to engage with a medical student who will simply listen as a friend and provide meaningful social contact. In order to set up a call, click on the google form within the Get in Touch Section and we will match you with a student and confirm the appointment within 24 hours. If you have further questions or concerns, the contact information of our students and faculty is provided in the About Us section.
About COVID Support brought to you by students from Georgetown University School of Medicine
COVID Support brought to you by students from Georgetown University School of Medicine is a non-profit initiative that has been driven by the medical students in order to support the community in the difficult times of the virus. Our mission is to create an accessible platform for anyone to be able to ask coronavirus related questions to medical students in order to obtain cited answers from credible resources, or to chat with an empathetic medical student for emotional support.
To get a sense of who we really are, take a look at the categories we cover. Schedule a Call in the "Get in Touch!" section, or Submit Any Question you have related to coronavirus. We will get back to you within 24 hours via email. Want to learn more about how we operate or partner with us? Get in touch today by emailing one of the following students or faculty member: