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Conversations With Dr. Aw Video Transcript

Hello, everyone, my name is Dr. James Aw.

I'm the Chief Medical Officer at OMERS.

It's a pleasure to be here, thank you for taking time for checking in.

My role at OMERS is really to provide in house medical advice on health and wellness for our employees our companies.

And I'm happy also to be available for you folks to share some insights I might have on the current situation, just quickly on my background, I started off in family practice.

I'm still a practicing physician.

Then I got into travel, tropical medicine, global health.

And then I got the occupational medicine, health and safety for different companies.

So I’ve been Medical Director for different industries over the years.

And then I've spent the last 15-20 years focusing on prevention of wellness, and part time faculty in internal medicine, Johns Hopkins.

And I've also been interested in clinical research in genomics and individualized Medicine at the University of Toronto.

So, I have been lately providing a lot of information for the OMERS and Oxford employees.

And we thought it'd be a great opportunity for me to also share some information that our team's working on to all the pension plan members out there.

First of all, I'd like to acknowledge all the great work that you folks are doing, a lot of you are on the front line, a lot of you have friends, family members that are also on the front line.

So thank you so much for your service.

And I hope you're staying safe.

And during these difficult times.

So as we all know, when inundated with information, the infodemic people often talk about, it often gets overwhelming.

So we're going to try to send some articles and the first one I think we're going to send is about boosting your immunity.

So a lot of conversations these days, as you know if you've heard the folks that tend to get this infection are the ones that have chronic disease, lung diseases, heart diseases, cancer, immunosuppression, or the elderly.

And so there's a lot of conversation right now about how can we strengthen the immune system to protect folks from getting these infections.

Also, the scientific community is working very hard, as you know about testing the point of care testing for whether you have the virus COVID or non COVID.

And also looking at the antibody testing and trying to determine some questions about who's got immunity and who does not have immunity.

And also, there is a lot of research going on, gosh, you know, several 100 clinical trials right now, on medications that can hopefully decrease the severity of the disease from pre symptomatic to symptomatic to severe illness, either repurposing old drugs that we've used in the past, like antivirals, like remdesivir, or anti parasitic medications, and also things like convalescent plasma, which is basically taking the blood of survivors and injecting it in folks and see if that'll provide some immunity.

So the scientific community is working really hard, and trying to get us out of this pandemic.

However, the good news is that for most of the world, as you know, it start off in Asia than Europe.

And then North America, and a lot of conversation of flattening this curve through social distancing and physical distancing.

So fortunately, for most of the civilized world, now, we're starting to get either at the plateau or the peak.

And we're just waiting for that descent.

So all of us have a role to play in curbing this pandemic.

So the physical distancing, the social distancing, that all the folks have done, is actually having a huge impact and actually decreasing what they call this reproductive rate.

So that during the heat of the pandemic, you know, the estimated infects about two or three people on average, but now you want to get that infection rate to about, a person who has COVID might infect one person or less, as we start to work on that, the the fact that all of you folks are doing the physical distance distancing is paying off.

So having said that, everyone's really anxious about how we re enter and get our lives back.

So we've got to keep our foot on the pedal, as they say, we've got to keep doing these social distancing measures and wear the masks and practice the personal hand hygiene things so that we can all do our part to maintain the decrease in the capability, this virus to spread to other humans.

So keep up the good work.

Stay positive.

It's very stressful for all of us right now, as we adapt to the new normal, but we'll get through this.

And very happy to be working with the OMERS platform to hopefully share with you some insights in live time as we see the story unfold.

So once again, it’s a pleasure to meet you all and we'll be trying to send you some information in different mediums either on these blogs, or in written material or other mediums.

So stay safe.

Keep up the good work and we'll see you next time.