NAU's COVID-19 Policy
March 21, 2020

Dr. Jacomides and Dr. Abikhaled on Remaining Healthy During the Covid-19 Epidemic

Speaker 1: 

Welcome back to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee.

Donna Lee: 

Welcome back to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee. Dr. Mistry is taking the day off today, it’s well-deserved, with his six beautiful children and amazing wife. So I’m sure he’s listening, so we should probably give them a shout out, huh, Dr. Jacomides?

Dr. Jacomides: 

Shout out, Dr. Mistry. Sonny, I hope you’re well and socially distant from all those children.

Donna Lee: 

No, they’re so cute, they’re hard to be distant from. Again, this is the Armor Men’s Health Hour. We are on KLBJ every Saturday from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM, and our website is armormenshealth.com. You can also listen to the playbacks and the podcasts on the KLBJ website–that’s newsradioklbj.com. You can also listen to our podcasts for free wherever you listen to podcasts.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s right because you can’t watch sports. You can’t go to restaurants. You might as well listen to us.

Donna Lee: 

They have not shut down our podcast like the sports world, so you can…

Dr. Jacomides: 

If they do, I don’t know what else America would do. I mean, we are needed on.

Donna Lee: 

Our podcasts are kicking butt too, so be sure to tune in. You can reach us during the week at (512) 238-0762. Again, reach us by email at armormenshealth@gmail.com. That’s armormenshealth@gmail.com. We have our special guest, Dr. Abikhaled, back with us. Welcome back to the second segment, Dr. Abikhaled.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Glad to be here. And I’m happy to say that our microphones are almost six feet apart from each other. I think we’re in good shape here.

Donna Lee: 

It’s a big studio.

Dr. Jacomides: 

It is. We have very, very…we have cones of silence, like get smart, you know, just to keep us all separate from each other. John, what do you, what’s your world like these days? I mean, how are you, what can, what advice do you have as a non-psychiatrist to tell people stuck at home–what to do in terms of their wellness and their health?

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Well, as far as my world, you know, everything’s changing real rapidly. We’ve made some arrangements and taken special precautions in our own office to safely care for patients. We are having patients calling in wanting to reschedule surgery for later, which we’re accommodating. We may in the very near future actually be told by the hospitals that we’ll have to reschedule cases that are not emergencies.

Donna Lee: 

That hasn’t happened yet though.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

That has not happened yet.

Donna Lee: 

But we’re predicting that to happen.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Well it certainly could if we get the surge that people fear has happened in Italy. I mean it is some very frightening to think about the untold casualties of this whole infection that you know, people who are not wanting to get their cancer surgeries or actually maybe told you have to wait. I mean I hope we don’t get there, but I mean these are things that we have to weigh.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Yeah. And I think it’s important for people to understand the difference between elective surgery, emergent or urgent surgery. And sometimes people think elective surgery means cosmetic surgery or surgery that’s not really necessary. But elective surgery would be like a hernia repair. Guys get lots of hernias. We fix lots of hernias, but they’re usually can be done in a planned fashion at sometime in the future. And so, elective surgeries are the ones that we think will be rescheduled, and that we’re happy to reschedule at patients’ request at this time. But for urgent surgeries, for things like appendicitis or other serious conditions that require immediate surgery, those surgeries are getting done and will be done. And I’m confident that our system will be able to handle all that.

Dr. Jacomides: 

What other myths are there out there that you’ve heard that, you know, we’ve heard things like “Tito’s vodka is the cure,” sponsored by Tito’s vodka, by the way, if you’d like to sponsor the show.

Donna Lee: 

It’s always the cure.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

I thought it was tequila. You’re really disappointing, because I prefer that.

Dr. Jacomides: 

Well, we can’t go to bars anyways, so. But the reality is, you know, we have to separate myth from reality. We have to separate hysteria from fact. What else outrageous things have you heard or what things do we want to dispel right here and now for our listeners?

Dr. Abikhaled: 

This is a virus that affects all people. It is more likely to affect people who are older and who have underlying health conditions because their immune systems are weaker and that’s it. Otherwise, it can affect anybody. Interestingly, young children have had the lowest rates. So fortunately our little kids seem to be handling this quite unscathed. And that’s great news.

Donna Lee: 

That’s awesome.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

There are other things that we, you know, just aren’t clear about. We don’t know exactly how easy it can be spread or how long it lasts in a room, how long it lasts on a surface. And those are things that our scientists are figuring out. I think another myth or concern right now is that supplies are going to run out. So we’ve all seen the lines at the grocery store and the empty shelves. And the fact there is that we have plenty of the stuff we need. I mean, we live in the United States, we waste half of all food that’s produced or something close to that. So there’s plenty of food and supplies and that if we just use what we need, everybody’s going to have what they need.

Dr. Jacomides: 

What about just protecting yourself? We as physicians, we’re in the line of fire, you know, we hear that now the first case is trickling in of the physicians in the Austin area that have gotten the virus. What should we be doing or what should those that are particularly vulnerable in the elderly population–should be walking around with masks? Or should we be, I mean, you know, certainly when you’re told you can’t go to restaurants at all, you start to look at you who your friends are around you and you know, start to use prophylaxis. You know, perhaps that’s a weird word. I just said, I’m sorry.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Coming from urologists and I’ve got concerns a little bit.

Donna Lee: 

That’s not weird at all.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I said “prophylaxis,” to be clear.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

I don’t think we need to be walking around with masks on all the time. That’s a waste of the equipment that we need, and that’s already in short supply. And so like we were talking about before by kind of keeping a low profile, stay in home, avoiding crowds, that’s the most important thing there. I would like to talk about the personal protective equipment, which is in short supply. That should also, you know, not be hoarded. Our medical personnel need that. And I’d like to relate a really great story. One of my partners in my group actually took it upon himself to reach out through social media to neighbors to see if people had equipment. And some people actually have some things left over from previous epidemics and they made that available. And, now that’s being redistributed to doctors’ offices. So I would call on people who have excess, you know, PPE, perhaps they have it stored up from previous epidemics that they’re clearly not using to make that available to physicians. And the Travis County medical society is currently working on a way of helping get PPE into the hands of physicians in their offices who are running low and who need that. And so if you have something in your own home that could be used and you want to donate it, standby. The TCMs, or the Travis County Medical Society, will be getting word out on how to that.

Donna Lee: 

That’s great.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I think the more I stay in my home, I look at all the things I want to donate. And most of them are not PPE. Because you’re stuck in your house and…

Donna Lee: 

It’s a great time to clean out your house.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s absolutely right.

Donna Lee: 

And there’s a bunch of neighborhood apps, too, that are doing that. I see on my personal neighborhood app. They’re all passing around messages and how you can help each other. But what other questions do we have, Dr. Jacomides?

Dr. Jacomides: 

Well, I think this is a men’s health show, and we also want healthy women, too. And, you know, is there, when you’re at home, is there anything that we should be doing that–no, we can’t go to our gym, which is a good excuse now. But what else can we be doing just for our own mental and physical wellbeing?

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Yeah, I think it’s really important to stay healthy physically and mentally. There are lots of ways to work out at home. Certainly if you have some of your own equipment, you know, use it. If it’s like mine, it is gathering dust and it’s kind of where the laundry gets laid out to dry…

Dr. Jacomides: 

I think I found the Kathy Smith video of my VCR, I can pop in, I can go back.

Donna Lee: 

A little Jane Fonda?

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s right. Thanks for that visual.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

So we’re making use of our old equipment that’s been sitting there for years and years. And you know, you can still go outside and you can still jog and get active. Go for walks. And just avoid crowded areas.

Donna Lee: 

I thought we were going to drink? What happened to the drinking?

Dr. Abikhaled: 

That’s later, that’s end of the day.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s how I walk actually.

Donna Lee: 

A little fask while you’re walking.

Dr. Jacomides: 

I think these are important points to emphasize, because I think the general message again is we in the healthcare industry, we have to toe the line. And especially in leadership roles as yourself, as Travis County Medical Society President, the message we want to say is to really stay calm, isn’t that right, and stay safe. But how do we bridge those two sometimes?

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Yeah. Absolutely this is going to pass. It will pass. The virus will run its course and life will return to normal. And so just in the meantime we want to stay, you know, sane and healthy, and help our neighbors, and not try to hoard things that we don’t really need, and just share with each other, and we’ll all get through this.

Dr. Jacomides: 

That’s right.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right. I just watched a really incredible Netflix documentary called “The Pharmacist,” so I highly recommend that, and something called “Long Shot” that was a 40 minute documentary. What about you?

Dr. Jacomides: 

I watched outbreak with my children.

Donna Lee: 

Oh no, no, no, no…

Dr. Jacomides: 

…which is probably not the best idea to watch, but I also want to…but I just thought, you know, this seems relevant.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

“Daddy, no! Daddy, no!”

Donna Lee: 

You watch it with your children? Dr. Jacomides, stop it!

Dr. Jacomides: 

They are all in therapy, for many reasons…but no, seriously. We’re trying to watch “28 Days Later,” too, but I don’t know, it’s pretty terrifying, all of it.

Donna Lee: 

Oh my gosh. Okay.

Dr. Jacomides: 

No, we wanted to finish on calm. I just completely blew off the door. We want to be calm, stay calm…

Donna Lee: 

Stay calm.

Dr. Jacomides: 

…and pardon again. I have a slightly warped sense of humor, but this is how I deal with tragic events. We try to think beyond it and think for bluer skies, so I really appreciate you being here, Dr. Abikhaled.

Donna Lee: 

Yeah, thank you so much for taking the time!

Dr. Abikhaled: 

I’m glad I’ve had the chance, thank you.

Donna Lee: 

Yeah. We’re going to have him on in the future, but if you want to reach out to us during the week, (512) 238-0762. Our email address is armormenshealth@gmail.com, and our website is armormenshealth.com. We will be right back after these messages. Thank you again, Dr. Abikhaled.

Dr. Abikhaled: 

Thanks.

: 

The Armor Men’s Health Hour will be right back. If you have questions for Dr. Mistry, email him at armormenshealth@gmail.com.

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