Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
1:23 pm EST
Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Dr. Donald Eagle | Aegis Medical Group

Q. How does Aegis Medical Group treat coronavirus patients?

A. If a patient has COVID, we don’t bring them into the office because we want to prevent exposure to patients who do not have it. However, we will communicate with a COVID patient via telemedicine and via phone calls and treat them with Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, steroids, or antibiotics. If they become severe, we can arrange for them to go to the hospital and have an IV dose of Remdesivir.  

One of the keys is prevention. This virus tends to beat up people who are obese, have lung disease, or have a history of smoking. There’s a lot of bad information online about these immunizations, so I sit down with these patients and discuss the risk. I think the risk of having an adverse effect from one of these immunizations is like .0005 percent. For high risk-patients, their risk of severe illness can be as high as .2 percent. I tell patients, ‘Here’s your risk of taking the shot and here’s your risk of not taking the shot. Which would you rather live with?’ 

Q. Do you think everyone should get the vaccine?

A. In my opinion, anyone under 30 who is healthy doesn’t necessarily need immunization. This age group is at very low risk. However, if someone in this age group has an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, COPD, asthma, and obesity, then I encourage them to be immunized. Anyone 30 and above should get the vaccination. 

Q. Do you think everyone should get the vaccine?

A. My answer is yes. I want them to get at least one dose of an immunization. They need to boost their immunity for this very contagious Delta variant. One person with the Delta variant can infect five people, so it’s easy to see why this variant is spreading like wildfire. 

Q. What are your thoughts on masks?

A. I’ve seen data that shows places where a mask mandate was maintained longer have higher per capita COVID infections than places that didn’t have a mask mandate. There’s really no good science on this. These little ornamental cloth masks that everyone wears offer very little protection. If you have to go into a high-risk situation, then wear a N95 mask. Don’t wear a cheap mask that makes a political statement or looks pretty but doesn’t really offer you much protection. 

Q. Is it safe for me to go on vacation and what can I do to alleviate my chances of getting COVID?

A. First, get immunized. In the 30 years I’ve been practicing medicine, I’ve seen Murphy’s Law come into effect more often than I’d like with patients who travel outside the country. If you travel outside the country, you have to remember they may not have anywhere near the high level of health care we have in the U.S. You have to ask yourself, “What happens if COVID or any other medical emergency arises? Will this country have the capability of handling that?” 

As far as vacation in the U.S., you have good health care wherever you go. However, you can still try to mitigate your risk as much as possible. It will be much riskier to visit a crowded beach than camping at a remote place in the Rockies. Having said that, I believe people need to have time away, especially after the last 1.5 years. We still need to enjoy life. 

Q. You’re right. We still have to enjoy life. How much risk should we take? 

A. You have to ask whether this risk of death is worth me giving up everything—my freedom, my enjoyment, my quality of life. That’s a personal decision everyone has to make on his or her own. It’s up to each individual person to decide where that ability to cope with risk is. 

Q. You’ve been in this field for 30 years. How has this pandemic changed the way you treat patients?

A. Taking care of patients through a video call is different for me. I’m very much a hands-on physician. Not being able to touch patients and having them in my office is very difficult. As a family physician, you build a rapport with patients and feel like you are part of their lives. Right now, I feel a disconnect with patients after 30 years of wonderful connection.

Aegis Medical Group

352.448.1984 / 18540 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora / aegismedicalgroup.com

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