Micah Resnick, M.D. is here to help.
Dr. Micah Resnick is a husband, father of three kids under the age of 5, and a General Pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. Sorting fact from fiction, he’s here to school us on how to handle this health crisis.
Stay well, friends.
Jamie Aderski from Tinybeans
(Mom to Watson, almost 4, and Ever, 9 months)
Q: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” – lies! So much seems out of our control health-wise right now, what can we do to stay out of your office?
A: Don’t stay away from the doctor. As a pediatrician, I want you to come to my office so we can talk about all the ways to keep your child healthy, and what we eat is one of them. I try to keep it simple, so my advice sounds a lot like Michael Pollan’s “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Here’s how:
1. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
2. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docs, where it can be replaced with fresh food when it goes bad.
3. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions – honey – but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food,” Pollan says.
4. Help kids develop good eating habits. I give this hand out to all my patients: Phrases that Help, Phrases that Hinder
5. In the U.S, 20% of food is eaten in the car. Families traditionally ate together around a table and no tv, at regular meal times. It’s a good tradition. Enjoy meals with people you love.
Q: Show with the most accurate depiction of health professionals? Least accurate? And lastly, your personal favorite!
A: Most accurate – Scrubs and some episodes of House 2.
Least accurate – The Resident or most of Grey’s Anatomy 3.
Favorite – toss up between early ER (Doug Ross forever) or Doogie Howser M.D.; from age 7-9 I was convinced that Neil Patrick Harris was my brother, since my eldest brother Josh moved out of our apartment to attend college by the time I was in 3rd grade.
Q: How do you keep your family healthy on a regular basis?
A: Of course the obvious – good sleep, drink lots of water, wash your hands, etc. But I think one of the most important things we can do as a family to stay healthy is to eat dinner together every night. My wife, who has an MBA and background in consulting and process movement, introduced this tradition a few years ago – back when there was only one child at our dinner table. It’s called “highs, lows, and ho ho hos.” Everyone goes around the table and shares the high point of your day, the low point, and anything that made you laugh. It’s a real favorite! And its gets the whole family on the same page. My wife and I can share this time to be present and connect with each other and with our children. We process out emotions. We hear about the day. And we always end on a high note, reinforcing the importance of laughing everyday.
Q: Can you explain “social distancing” and to what extent we should be practacing it?
A: I am taking this very seriously and following the advice of our elected officials (local and state seem to be the most truthful at this time), the brave scientists and physicians at the CDC, as well as colleagues and friends I trust and respect.
My wife and I are #blessed and fortunate enough to be able to keep our children home with us, work remotely (when possible) and avoid contact with other people. I urge you all to do the same.
You don’t have to be a shut-in or stay indoors. In fact, please go outside if you have children. They need the fresh air, the change of scenery helps with the whole normalizing process. When you go outside make sure to wash your hands upon leaving and returning. Wipe down any equipment or high touch surface you come in contact with. Practice social distancing – simply put: stay out of people’s grill. No seriously, stand 6 feet away. There are videos of people lining up in Italy for supplies practicing this. We can do it!
The virus can easily spread in dense places – in a packed subway car, for example, or at a rally or concert. Social distancing refers to measures that are taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. I think we all started to pay attention when the NBA suspended it’s season and March Madness was cancelled. This is not about making money. This is not about you. It’s about us, about the elderly, the infirm, and the brotherhood and sisterhood of man.
I had one patient ask me recently what the difference was between social distancing and quarantine.
Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days form the last date of exposure, since 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
Q. Anything else you’d like us to know?
A. We must talk about the stigma.
People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting where COVID-19 is spreading. Fears and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.
Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, and fears about disease that is causing a problem.
People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.
And don’t forget to keep paying anyone who works for you for as long as you can. We are all in this together.
You can follow Dr. Micah on IG and Twitter: @doctor_micah