Dr. Hopland talks coronavirus

Published 9:18 am Monday, March 2, 2020

News of the impending coronavirus outbreak has been in the news recently. Dr. Arnold Hopland, an Elizabethton physician who has been in quarantine in Japan following exposure to the virus, shared basic tips that people should follow.

Hopland’s tips include hand washing, covering nose and mouth, staying six feet away from individuals, avoiding regular exposure to public areas like grocery stores and movie theatres, not touching face while out in public and also getting a flu shot.

Those hearing of the impending outbreak have been reaching out to get supplies, such as masks, and it has been reported that the Dow has fallen to record lows due to fears. In preparation for the outbreak, hospitals and other facilities now have plans in place for the virus. Additionally, media outlets have also been releasing lists of things people can do to minimize transmission once it begins.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

While there have been under 20 known cases of the virus in the United States, Hopland noted that those with the virus are asymptomatic, or show no signs. Because of this he says in reality the number of those infected is actually a mystery.

Additionally he believes more should be done at the borders for those entering the country. He noted people should be given a PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, test and put in two day quarantine to see who is infected and may not know.

The good news is that the virus is less dangerous than viruses already prevalent, like SARS and even the flu. While this is true, however, Hopland does believe this is training for more dangerous illnesses in the future,

“I hope what we have remains rather mild, we have potential vaccines on the horizon,” he said. “I’ve had some input on it and I feel good about it. But one day it is inevitable that we will have a deadly virus that is as infectious as this one is, and that could kill a third or half of the world’s population, literally. If we prepare for it, we can mitigate it. This is like a trial run where we can start to do better.”

Hopland hopes that preparation for this virus will remain beneficial now and in the future with diseases,

“There is a silver lining behind every cloud,” he said.