Last Updated on 4/5/20

24/7 Torrance Memorial Ask a Nurse Hotline | For COVID-19 Questions Only | CALL 310-517-1111


Hi Faith family! This is Jenny Henny the baker and Nicole Harada, and today we have a lot of questions about COVID-19. Luckily for us, we have a special guest today who’s going to help us better understand what’s happening in the media!

Hi Faith family, I’m Michael Scott Harada, AKA Jenny’s son, and I am one of the oncology pharmacists at Torrance Memorial as well as the co-chair for hospital pharmacists at the California Pharmacists Association.

Play audio file below for a 10 minute Q&A with Michael answering all of your most pressing questions about COVID-19

The Basics

Q: First, what is the coronavirus and what’s the difference from COVID-19?
A: Corona viruses are a family of respiratory infections that includes MERS, SARS, the commoncold, ​and​ COVID-19. So COVID-19 is one type of coronavirus.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and how is it different from the flu? Because, I can’t really tell the difference.
A: The symptoms are exactly like the flu. Fever, tiredness, aches, and DRY cough. Runny nose andsore throat is also possible. Since we can’t tell the difference, if we have flu symptoms it’s best to be extremely careful.

Q: How is COVID-19 spread?

A: COVID-19 is spread when infected individuals cough, sneeze, or exhale. When the water droplets from their breath lands on surfaces around them, people can become infected by touching these surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Q: Is there anything I can do to protect myself besides not touching my eyes, nose or mouth?
A: The most important thing you can do is to wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Wash them after going to the restroom, before eating, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
A: CDC is recommending staying 6 feet away from others to avoid catching those respiratorydroplets.
A: Don’t share utensils, dishes, cups, towels, or bedding with others who might be sick.
A: Clean frequently touched objects like door and cabinet handles, sink knobs, bedside tables, etc. A: Clean your phone​ – your smartphone and your home phone regularly. If you touch your phone, wash your hands, and then pick up your phone again, you’re possibly picking those germs right back up.
A: Stay home when you feel sick and encourage others who are sick to stay home.

Q: So stay home if you think you might be getting sick, got it. Is this the same thing as social distancing? I know it’s don’t gather in crowded places, but what else does it mean?

A: Schools have been closed, you can’t eat-in at restaurants, and now we have a “stay at home” order. These are all examples of social distancing. The goal is to prevent the virus from spreading since it gets around through us – through person to person contact.

Q: Besides person to person contact, how long does it last on surfaces they may have touched?
A: COVID-19 can last on surfaces for up to several days. If you’re not sure, best to wipe the surface down.

Q: Okay, if in doubt, clean it out! I keep hearing of a scary term on the news. What’s an asymptomatic carrier?

A: It’s an individual who is infected with the virus, but does not show symptoms such as fever or cough. These carriers can infect others and make them sick which is another reason why everyone is practicing social distancing.

I feel sick, what do I do now?

Q: That’s pretty scary, so worst case scenario, what do I do if I feel sick?
A: Stay at home until you are better. Try to use a separate bedroom and bathroom from other family members if you can. Do everything you normally would do to treat a cold or flu.
Q: Okay, but what if I’m really sick? Like how do I know if I need to go to the hospital kind of sick?

A: If you have fever, dry cough, and ​difficulty breathing​, you should first ​call​ your doctor or hospital for instructions. If you have a fever of 100.4 degrees, ​call first ​to see if you need to go in. Other high risk signs can also include persistent pain in the chest, confusion, blue lips or face. These are symptoms you’re not getting enough oxygen.

A: If you don’t have a doctor, call our 24 hour Torrance Memorial nurse hotline at ​(310) 517 1111​. A: So let’s say you called your doctor or nurse and you’re recommended to visit the hospital. When you call 911, let the operator know you have symptoms of COVID-19 so they can get a special ambulance ready for you.

Q: Well, if I go to a hospital, will I get a test for COVID-19?

A: Tests are in short supply and are being allocated for the highest risk patients. If you ​called ​your doctor or nurse and they recommended you go to a hospital, the emergency physician will make the decision if you need testing.
Source: LA County Public Health, CDC

Q: Are antibiotics effective against COVID-19?
A: No, antibiotics work against bacteria and do not work against the virus COVID-19. A physician might prescribe you antibiotics if they suspect a bacterial infection. Q: Is there a cure or vaccine for COVID-19?

A: We are looking into studies around the world for a cure and multiple countries are developing a vaccine. Until then, the best medicine is to protect yourself from catching it.

A: I do have one tip for fevers. Unless your doctor has told you that you have liver problems, we do recommend acetaminophen AKA Tylenol to treat fevers. Try avoiding ibuprofen or other NSAIDS for fevers when possible if you are older. Drink plenty of fluids.

Q: So let’s say I didn’t get it, but what if I have friends or family that get sick, am I able to visit them in the hospital?

A: In general, all hospitals in the South Bay are not accepting visitors at this time in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Exceptions are made to visit newborns and compassionate care patients. Call your hospital for details if you are not sure.

Closing Questions

Q: Not that I didn’t learn anything, but where can I find more information if I want to learn more?

A: You can keep up to date on the World Health Organization AKA the WHO, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

Q: And probably the most important question: are you going to get a haircut?

A: Would you like to give me a haircut?

Q: Want to give a quick prayer for everyone?

A: Dear Lord, I want to start by saying thank you to everyone working hard to support and sustain our communities. Please give all of us the strength, wisdom, and courage to be your angles against this new adversary. Let us be united and be kind to one another. Provide encouragement and give us guidance on how to be good stewards of your grace. We especially pray that you watch over us by providing comfort and safety.

Psalm chapter 9 verses 9-10

9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,

for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you
Lord, I just want to let you know that we place our trust in you. Thank you – Amen

Q: Thanks Faith family, that’s it for this week’s sermon! Thanks for listening in! Bye! Bye! Keep your spirits high!