Dr. Elvi Whiteford of Appleton Clinics has started a Facebook page called “Medical Providers Keeping GJ Educated and Supported,” where people can go to get authoritative answers to questions about the COVID-19 virus and efforts to cope with the pandemic.
Dr. Whiteford is a family medicine doctor who was born and raised in Grand Junction. She got her M.D. from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2000 and has practiced here since 2008. She set up the Facebook page as an educational forum where people can get the most accurate, timely and factual medical updates on COVID-19. The page does not seek donations or take requests for care, but rather is just a place to get authoritative, science-based answers to questions and share the most up to date information possible.
Here is an example of the kind of questions Dr. Whiteford is getting, and the answers she is giving:
We have the flu every year in this country, so why the hype with COVID-19?
FAQ # 18: “I don’t get why we’re freaking out about this in our country and Mesa County- we have the flu EVERY YEAR and we’re just fine- I don’t get the hype!”
A. This is a great question and I think its a common one. The flu does affect a lot of people and accounts for a lot of death in the U.S. each year! But here are a few differences:
1) First, we have herd immunity [to the common-type of flu], meaning a lot of us have seen it and our immune system can respond before its overwhelmed. This is a new virus, so no herd immunity (yet)
2) Secondly, we have a vaccine [for the common flu], so even if we have not seen it, we can prepare our bodies so it can get ready with its own defense system and fight before it is overwhelmed, and we don’t have that to COVID 19
3) Thirdly, we have early treatment with Tamiflu [for the common flu]. For Covid-19, we really have nothing for early intervention and we’re just now trying treatments for critically ill patients.
4) Fourth, COVID-19 is more infectious. For every 1 person that has it, it can infect nearly 3 more!! So if one person gives it to 3, and those 3 give to 3, we’re at 9– and then 27- and you can see how that math is adding up in our own country and, unfortunately, I know in our community. Flu, on the other hand, is about 1.2 persons per infected person.
5) Finally, this COVID-19 virus is killing at a MUCH HIGHER rate of 3 to 4% of the population, when you compare that to the .01% of flu. I do not want to minimize what the flu does. It is a killer and really makes a nasty mark on our country EVERY YEAR, but with COVID-19 being so new, so catchy and such a killer without herd immunity and treatment, if we don’t know the facts, we are just standing in the freeway waiting to get hit.
Knowledge is power and prevention right now is our only defense– Stay Well Mesa County!
So instead of believing what the President says, which has not been medically or scientifically accurate information, instead ask pose your questions to a trained medical professional who lives in your own community on Facebook and get answers for free!