Covid-19: Chaos or Reflection?
Interview Dr. Juan Rivera
For you, Doctor, who has been the informant especially for the Latino public, what has COVID-19 represented for the entire world?
On January 21, we started to give coverage to the Coronavirus, at that time it did not have a clinical name yet, the one now known as Covid-19, it’s been very difficult and complex months. I started reporting on Univision every day what was happening, and suddenly cases started to appear in South Korea, eventually it arrived in Spain, Italy, and there started to be a significant amount of information. I realized that the information that was being given at press conferences was only in English, it was very difficult to get information about it in Spanish, and then it was time to say: “The Hispanic community depends on the media”, In this case together with Univisión, which has developed the health platform with a main medical correspondent. I felt the responsibility fell on me and the network. Later Jorge Ramos, María Antonieta Collins and I created a show every day called “El Diario del Coronavirus”, it became an incredible job, giving the public information that people could understand, and expanding it through my social media to spread the message, and raise awareness of the severity of the virus, in the face of the chaos it represents, since it’s not a common flu virus.
In your opinion, what is the simplest and most practical way to prevent COVID-19?
I believe that, in a situation like this, where there is no treatment, there is no vaccine, the most important thing is social distancing or physical distancing as a defense; It is the only weapon that we have, not leaving behind the use of the mask and maintaining personal hygiene of washing hands frequently, I think, are the three most important things.
What are the tests that we can currently apply from home and are they really reliable?
So far. no. Even the initial tests that came out of the Center for Disease Control were flawed, they didn’t quite work. Initially, different laboratories were not allowed to participate in the development of tests, and to run them, because everything had to go through the CDC and the necessary tests were never done. Currently they are gradually increasing the number of tests being done for Coronavirus Covid-19 molecular test, the swab test in the nose or throat, which is more accurate than the previous one, and tells you if anyone has the virus or not.
Now, doctor, we are starting to resume the daily activities, there are already beaches, swimming pools, offices, among others. What recommendation do you give us?
I think it is important to know that, from now on, as you mention, activities are being resumed, so everything has to be viewed from a lens of relative risk. The only thing that is 0% risk, and it is not 0%, is that you stay home and do nothing. That we know is not a possibility, people have to work, people have to live. So, every activity you do is a relative risk. Each family will have to decide what risk they want to take. In general, closed places where there are too many people, socializing for more than fifteen minutes, is a more risky place.
It is hard to think that a doctor would support the idea of using home remedies. In your latest book “Santo Remedio”, 100 home remedies were collected. Tell us how did the idea of writing this book come about?
It is an interesting story, which begins because in medical practice, I begin to realize that there are many patients who begin to ask about alternative treatments. Investigating, I realized that there are millions of people looking for alternative treatments, in 2013 the idea arose to me to do a television program that at that time was called Strange Medicine, or ‘‘Medicina Desconocida’’, back then I presented this project to Isaac Lee , who was creating ‘‘Fusión’’, an English cable channel with ABC, and said to me: “Let’s do this in English and in Spanish”, and that’s how it was, we did that season of Strange Medicine, I traveled for six weeks to Guatemala, to Utah in the United States, to Mexico, investigating other types of home remedies, then the show was very good, then Delta airline passed it on its flights, Univisión, Galavisión, UniMas, and it is from there that the idea for the book, Santo Remedio, arose . The book is doing very well in the United States, and now it is in Spain, and Chile, although in the last one with another name: Curarse Naturalmente. But now I give you two advances: in September a sequel of Santo Remedio for women comes out, and in August we are launching a line of natural supplements called Santo Remedio, which you will find at 814 Walmart and in e-commerce.
How is Juan Rivera’s time balanced and distributed? Do you sleep?
Notice that I sleep and exercise, I spend time with my family; Long ago I became an expert in managing time, and managing it is extremely important, it is the most precious resource we have; I think that many of the people who have problems managing time are because they don’t know how to say no, when they have to say No.
Dr. Juan, to conclude. What message or advice would you give to the audience of Learning to Live Magazine?
The general advice that I would give you is to please think about your health from the point of view of prevention, to invest your time in prevention and not necessarily wait to be reactive. You don’t wait for chest pain or shortness of breath to understand your cardiovascular risk, because if you understand your cardiovascular risk today, you can control it. You can change lifestyles, you can lower a blood pressure, a sugar level, a cholesterol level with the help of the doctor, with the help of the nutritionist, with the help of the family. So that would be my advice, think proactive, and not reactive.