How to Protect Yourself and Other Answers (Videos)

How can you help protect yourself?

Dr. Richard Migliori, M.D., Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group offers valuable insight on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Watch these videos to learn how to help protect yourself and understand important details about the virus. 

If you have questions, please call the number on your Member ID card or log into your health plan account. 

Wearing cloth face masks in public

[Interview in office setting]

Wearing cloth face masks in public

The importance of wearing masks

Dr. Richard Migliori and Dave Wichmann sit in chairs and face each other. Between them sits a table holding a globe, mug, and a coffee cup.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

WICHMANN: Somebody suggested that we should be wearing face masks in public, and I thought I'd–the team members would like to know what you think about that.

MIGLIORI: The face mask issue is something that represents an evolution in the recommendations from the CDC. And their recommendation is that when you go outside and you leave your home that you wear a cloth mask. And the purpose is, is not so much to protect you but to protect others around you. Because it's becoming more and more clear that this virus can spread from–not only from droplets but also, perhaps, when we are asymptomatic or maybe presymptomatic. There's a lot of virus that builds up just before an individual develops symptoms, and it may be one of the times at which they're most contagious. So you should wear them. Now the type of mask that they're recommending is something plain and simple as cloth over your mouth, all right, and nose, such as one of the mufflers that any Minnesotan is well familiar with but also some of the more simple, little cloth masks that are available on Amazon and a variety of other places. One thing that they're not talking about, though, is using this type of ve–of valuable device. This is a 3M N95 mask. It clears 95% of the particles. This is something that is in very short supply and something that is necessary for frontline providers who are seeing people who are sick with the disease. Secondarily, these are surgical masks. This is much like the mask I would wear when I was operating years and years ago. And it is not as refined as that mask but certainly has an ability to protect the physician as well as to protect patients who are being evaluated. This is typically put on patients who are being evaluated when they're most symptomatic. But in general, as I do, when you go outside, if you're near other people, within, you know–that can come up to that six-foot parameter, put that cough mask on. It's a way of your secretions being contained so that you don't accidentally infect somebody else, even when you don't know that you have the disease, and they'll reciprocate.

The screen fades to white and the UnitedHealthcare logo appears in blue.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

Taking precautions while outdoors and response to a recent study about droplets and exercise

[Interview in office setting]

Taking precautions while outdoors and response to a recent study about droplets and exercise

The importance of taking precautions

Dr. Richard Migliori and Dave Wichmann sit in chairs and face each other. Between them sits a table holding a glass bowl, mug, and coffee cup. Dave Wichmann holds a tablet device.

WICHMANN: We received a question from one of our team members about physical distance needed when outdoors, and in particular there, they shared an article, which I thought was very insightful, that said we should expand our separation while engaging in outdoor activities, because our droplets can travel further when we're in motion.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

WICHMANN: In fact, one of the things it said, and I'm a cyclist, so it said that bikers, which are different than cyclists, by the way, should stay 66 feet apart if you're-- actually, a biker, it's probably even longer than that, but is that true? Is there any precautions we need to adhere to when we're outdoors?

MIGLIORI: You know, I had a chance to look at the article, and it gets me to think about two things. First off, let's talk about the content, the science of this thing. There probably is some streaming of even your droplets when you're running. Just the physical nature of droplets doing that. And one of the things that the CDC talked about last week was when you're outside and you're gonna be near people, that you should have some kind of a facial cover. Even something small, an upturned turtleneck, or some form of a facial or even a mask, but realizing that you probably have to have some [indistinct] for it to--you be--to be able to--to exercise like that. Second thing is, if you're sick at all and coughing, you shouldn't be outside riding a bike, spreading things. You should be at home, into a isolated area, so that you're not exposing others. But the--when you are outside and you think about moving at that speed, you could probably imagine that your effective distance is longer than 6 feet.

WICHMANN: Mm-hmm.

MIGLIORI: So it'd be better to have quite a bit of separation, and the rumors about riding side by side aren't quite there. But there's one other thing I wanted to get across, David, which is, when you look at these articles, and there are gonna be a bunch of them coming out, look at the source of that article, and like a good scientist--you know, you and I have talked about it, you've had some great perspectives on this--to be--to be critical when you read something, and look, has more than two people said the same thing? All right? The second thing: is it published in a source that is peer-reviewed and scientific, or is it just somebody's opinion that's out there? This particular study, it wasn't really an investigation. Rather, it was an illustration. It was a simulation that showed what happens if you were to move things along. But again, it's more of an illustration than a scientific thing. I think the likelihood is small, but again, going outside, covering one's face when you're outside, near the risk of others, is the best thing. And really, to take advantage, and not to shy away from exercise, but just to be mindful, I think we all have responsibility for our droplets.

The screen fades to white and the UnitedHealthcare logo appears in blue.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

Ordering takeout food and precautions to take with the packaging

[Interview in office setting]

Ordering takeout food and precautions to take with packaging

The importance of taking precautions with takeout food

Dr. Robert Migliori and Dave Wichmann sit in chairs facing each other. A table sits between them holding a coffee cub, mug, and glass bowl.

WICHMANN: Is there precautions we need to take as we think about, you know, getting curbside food?

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

MIGLIORI: No. You don't have to avoid this. Takeout food is something that is a pretty safe practice. What was stopped was going into a restaurant because we were crowding people. And you were getting people within, you know, a comfortable zone that would allow for the transmission of the virus. But the food itself is in a good carrier food. But you can make it even safer. A couple of tips: number one, takeout food should be hot food. All right? That's-- There's less in the way of viral preservation if you have hot food. Second thing is the way in which you manage it. When you take it home, like any package, try to leave the outer wrappings of the package outside, like a bag that the containers may come in, and then take the containers into the house and put them onto an area that you've made a safe zone for outside packages.

WICHMANN: Mm-hmm.

MIGLIORI: And what you do then is to then open up each one of the cartons and then go wash your hands. And then come back with your own plates and your own serving utensils. Take the food out, put it on the plate, and if you want to be safe-- safer, you can even put it in the microwave just for a very short period of time. Nuke it.

WICHMANN: [laughs] Yeah, that 30 seconds or so...

MIGLIORI: Yeah, 30 seconds, a minute, whatever.

WICHMANN: Will--might destroy whatever virus happens to be on the food as well.

MIGLIORI: Right.

WICHMANN: And then when you--just remember then, when you take the packaging out, you then have to wash your hands again.

MIGLIORI: Absolutely.

WICHMANN: One of the places I think COVID-19 survives better than others is on plastics.

MIGLIORI: Plastics--

WICHMANN: Which is a lot of what this comes with.

MIGLIORI: Yeah, and again, the data that shows that you can get transmissibility off of that is not quite proven, but just to be safe.

The screen fades to white and the UnitedHealthcare logo appears in blue.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

Understanding if summer will help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus

[Interview in office setting]

Understanding if summer will help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus

Learning more about COVID-19 in the summer

Dr. Richard Migliori and Dave Wichmann sit in chairs facing each other. A table stands between them holding a globe, mug, and coffee cup.

WICHMANN: Do we have any proof that summer brings with it a reduction in the COVID-19 virus or not?

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

MIGLIORI: We certainly have a hope. If this behaves like most viruses, it probably will, and it's for a very interesting reason. In the summer, when humidity goes up and temperatures go up, the ability for a droplet to hold on to a virus falls.

WICHMANN: Yeah.

MIGLIORI: So the physical transmissibility of a virus drops. That's one of the reasons. There are a variety of others, but it also implies that if it does drop this summer, be ready for a resurgent next year.

WICHMANN: Mm-hmm.

MIGLIORI: That happened with the original SARS from 20 years ago. It's likely to happen here. But I'll tell you, the next time, we're gonna be better prepared. We'll have testing assets out there. We'll be able to do the four things that's important; first is recognize a case, second is to be able to test and confirm, third is to follow the context... so that way, you have the ability to go reach and out to everybody, and finally, the ability to isolate. Which we couldn't do because we got behind on our testing.

The screen fades to white and the UnitedHealthcare logo appears in blue.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

Timing for recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus

[Interview in office setting]

Timing for recovery from the COVID-19 virus

Learning more about recovery

Dr. Richard Migliori and Dave Wichmann sit in chairs and face each other. Between them sits a table holding a globe, mug, and a coffee cup.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

WICHMANN: You can have COVID-19 for as long as, what, three weeks or so?

MIGLIORI: David, you're raising a very important point for everybody to remember. Over 98.5% of people who get infected... will survive this and go right back to normal. 98.5%. Now the rate of bad outcomes rise with age and with chronic disease, but 98.5% will.

The screen fades to white and the UnitedHealthcare logo appears in blue.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

Contracting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus for a second time

[Interview in office setting]

Contracting the COVID-19 virus for a second time

Learning more about COVID-19

Two men sit in beige chairs adjacent to one another in a room. White text appears on a blue strip at the bottom of the screen.

DAVE WICHMANN: What if I've already had COVID-19? Is there a possibility that I could contract it again?

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

DR. RICHARD MIGLIORI: There's some encouraging things developing out there as we learn more and more about this virus, such as the development of antibodies.

DAVE WICHMANN: Mm-hmm.

DR. RICHARD MIGLIORI: The antibody's a part of your immune system, and if this acts like other forms of coronavirus and other viruses in general, the presence of those antibodies should protect you against subsequent infection. That has not been proven yet, merely because this disease is only four months old, all right, and we're still learning what it can do. But certainly, the presence of those antibodies and now our ability to test for them makes us confident that we're gonna know soon whether or not these antibodies are being formed routinely and in sufficient number to protect us from subsequent infection.

Blue text appears on a white screen, next to a solid-blue "U" surrounded by three gray rings.

Preparing for the future and how we can come together to protect ourselves going forward

[Interview in office setting]

Preparing for the future and how we can come together to protect ourselves going forward

Learning more about the future

 

Dr. Richard Migliori and Dave Wichmann sit several feet apart in cream-colored chairs before a wide wall of windows showcasing a backdrop of two large buildings. A small coffee table with two mugs on each side is placed between the two men. Plants decorate the back corners of the room. Wichmann begins speaking, asking Dr. Migliori questions, as a dark blue graphic bar appears at the bottom of the screen, with the men's names and titles in white text.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Dr. Richard Migliori
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

Dave Wichmann
CEO, UnitedHealth Group

DAVE WICHMANN: So how will we as a country and as an enterprise be prepared when the virus returns?

The blue bar disappears as Wichmann continues speaking to Dr. Migliori.

DAVE WICHMANN: So there's this suspicion that the virus will come back in the Fall, you know, pre-vaccination. That would suggest it has some seasonal characteristics. Not sure if it does or does not yet. But nonetheless, if it does come back, you know, basically when the... When the country kind of comes back together and gets active again, are we gonna be better prepared? Or do you have any suggestions or tips?

Dr. Migliori begins speaking, explaining his answers to Wichmann's questions.

DR. RICHARD MIGLIORI: I think we've learned our lesson. And that lesson is that you always have to be aware and vigilant. And you have to have enough in the way of capacity to confirm your suspicions. We really got behind the 8-ball because we didn't have sufficient testing in this country.

Dr. Migliori continues speaking.

DR. RICHARD MIGLIORI: With things starting to contain themselves now, we have an opportunity. And that opportunity is to develop a discipline around being able to contain any future outbreaks. It's very likely that there will be a second hump sometime, but if we do our job right, in terms of our personal hygiene—as we've been talking about—but also that the health care system recognizes cases that are suspicious, confirms with testing that somebody does have an infection, isolates that individual, and then does some very disciplined and extensive contact tracing.

Dr. Migliori continues speaking.

DR. MIGLIORI: We'd be able to contain this this time without having the economic effects that come about and the loss of life that come about when all we have to rely upon is mitigation, which is what happened this first time around.

The navy blue and grey UnitedHealthcare textual logo appears on a white background.

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare

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