How COVID-19 Spreads Among Us… Some Reassurance

By Dr. Corey Burchman, Chief Medical Officer, Acreage Holdings

There is sufficient experience with this virus that I want to communicate, many from my ICU, pulmonary and anesthesiology colleagues on the and anesthesiology colleagues on the front lines, as well as data from the WHO, Italy, and New York.

I get that we are all freaked out.

I see the panic in the eyes of everyone at the market, the post office, the gas station, the liquor store, and the dispensary.

I can’t even grab a mid-priced bottle of mezcal without getting untoward glances from the cashier, who is 10 feet away, behind a Plexiglass bubble of Hubble Space-Telescopic dimensions.

Here’s what you should know.

The vast majority of those with COVID-19 have had long, direct contact with someone who has the virus; along the lines of 15 to 30 minutes in an unprotected environment without any type of mask.

The vast majority of people who are contracting the virus is by physically touching someone who is COVID-19 positive, or something that patient touched, and then touching their face.

You want to improve your chances of beating this? I do.

Follow three critical rules:

· Be obsessive about hand sanitation.

Always be aware of your hands and clean them after touching anything outside of your home. Gloves are not useful, unless you are a healthcare worker.

· Do not touch your face, unless your hands are clean and sanitized.

This is so tough, but it can save your life. Better not to touch it at all, maybe at home after you’ve sanitized your hands.

I had a question from one person who actually asked if it was ok to touch other peoples’ faces as long as he did not touch his own. Really.

I know there is an aphorism that no question is too stupid, but that was stupid.

Be obsessive

· Stay away from others. 6 foot distance is not magic. There is no real science behind it, but don’t complain. Do it. There is no horizon visible upon which social distancing protocols may be lifted. Accept that this is the new paradigm.

Carry hand sanitizer and always sanitize immediately after touch something outside your home.

If you run out of sanitizer make your own or use plain old soap and water, washing at minimum 20 seconds

BTW, any soap, any water temperature. It does not have to be liquid soap or anti-bacterial soap. It can even be dish soap. I am not at liberty to tell you of my dish soap of choice, but it is sky blue and smells like a spring rain.

The CDC was indiscisive between stating whether masks were necessary for everyone or not. They just recently acquiesced and said any old repurposed doo rag will do.

Outside of healthcare workers, directly in the repeated line of fire, or unless you are a caregiver to a COVID patient, masks do not confer significant prevention of the contraction of disease. A mask can “train” you not to touch your face, however.

Some schools of thought in medicine believe a mask may give one a false sense of security. Most non health care people have no clue to wearing one properly, fitting it, tying it, etc. It’s not that hard, but there is a right way.

My thinking about masks has changed of late and it has come to light that it might serve as a reminder not to touch your face. You could just wear one of those dog or cat cones you see after a pet goes to the vet, but that would be weird.

The onslaught of this pandemic has yet to take hold.

Take some solace in these guidelines to minimize your risk.

Your humble but extremely knowledgeable Chief Medical Officer,


This article was personally prepared by Corey Burchman, MD and Chief Medical Officer of Acreage Holdings.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr. Burchman and don’t necessarily represent those of Acreage Holdings or its subsidiaries.

A leading vertically integrated U.S. cannabis operator, Acreage is dedicated to creating a seamless, consumer-focused branded cannabis experience

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