Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shares his tips to prevent COVID-19 after testing positive

 




Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19.

In an 11-minute video shared on Instagram Wednesday, with the caption, “My message to all of you around the world,” Johnson confirmed that he, as well as his wife, Lauren, and two daughters, have all tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I wish it was only me that tested positive, but it wasn’t, it was my entire family,” said Johnson. “So this one was a real kick in the gut.”

The 48-year-old actor and retired professional wrestler revealed that he and his family contracted the disease from close family friends who, like his family, have been extremely disciplined during quarantine and “had no idea where they picked it up.”

“They’re devastated that it led to them infecting our family with it,” said Johnson, but said that because they were able to mitigate the disease, it didn’t spread out of control.

Johnson said he and his family have been coping with the disease for the past few weeks and described this time as “one of the most challenging and difficult things” that they’ve endured as a family — especially for Johnson, who has gone through other challenges in his life.

“I’ve gone through some doozies in the past… but testing positive for COVID-19 is much different than overcoming nasty injuries or being evicted or even being broke, which I have been more than a few times,” he shared. “The reason why I feel like this has been different is that my No. 1 priority is to always protect my family, protect my children, my loved ones.”

Despite testing positive for the virus, Johnson assured his followers that he and his family members are on the mend and are “no longer contagious.” He also shared how he’s “counting my blessings” and aware of the fact that not everyone recovers from the disease.

“We all have been hit by this thing, whether it’s people we know, the family we know, loved ones we know, friends we know… We’re well aware that it isn’t always the case that you get on the other end of COVID-19 stronger and healthier,” he said. “I have had some of my best friends have lost their parents, loved ones to this virus that is so incredibly relentless and unforgiving and it is insidious.”

Johnson, who has put his health and wellness first over the years, ended his video update by sharing some advice with his fans and followers to help slow the spread of the disease and prevent infection.

Here are some of his tips:

Make sure your visitors test negative before you invite them into your home

Like many when the coronavirus pandemic first began, Johnson was taking extra measures to protect his family by quarantining and only trusting people that he knew were doing the same before he and his family would interact with them. After testing positive for the disease, Johnson said that he’s going to be implementing “new rules.”

“Take an even aggressive measure,” said Johnson. “Have them tested, get everybody tested before they come over… and if they test positive, you stay away, if they don’t, come over.”

Boost your immune system

Johnson said that through this experience, he’s learned from doctors and epidemiologists about what can be done to keep from catching the disease to get better faster after catching it. One key thing, he said, is to boost your immune system.

“One of the things that we can all do is just do everything we can to boost our immune system,” Johnson explained. “Antioxidants, taking our vitamins, staying hydrated… When you have a boosted immune system and your immune system is strong and it’s not compromised, then you got a shot. You got a shot at not getting COVID-19.”

Wear a mask

Doctors and experts have stressed the importance of wearing masks throughout the course of the pandemic, and Johnson couldn’t agree more.

“It baffles me that some people out there, including some politicians, will take this idea of wearing masks and make it a political agenda, part of a political agenda, politicizing it,” he said. “It has nothing to do with politics — wear your mask. It is a fact and it is the right thing to do. It’s the responsible thing to do — not only for yourself, but for your family and your loved ones, but also for your fellow human beings.”

It looked to be a typical college party: a small group of students crammed in a kitchenette, cheering on as a shirtless guy arm-wrestled a laughing young woman. No one wore masks.

The scene was posted on Snapchat by one of the partygoers, a first-year student at Cornell University, along with a selfie with a mocking caption: “The people who slide up saying ‘you’re not social distancing’ are the ones that wouldn’t have been invited anyway.”

The response was swift and severe. Within days, an online petition was created demanding that the student’s admission to Cornell be revoked, and in the week since the petition has collected more than 3,500 signatures.

“Cornell University is attempting to take the biggest feat of allowing all students back on campus. This cannot be done without immense safety precautions taken and the compliance of every student,” a group calling itself the Concerned Student Coalition wrote in the petition. “We need to hold these students accountable for their actions.”

The situation at Cornell underscores a deeper tension on campuses all over the country as about 1,100 colleges embark on the huge experiment of reopening in a pandemic. Students, returning to school after months of isolation, are not only being asked to fully reimagine what their college social lives look like, but also to assume active roles as the front line against an outbreak at their schools by policing campus safety.

“Nobody likes snitching — it’s not comfortable,” said Melissa Montejo, a sophomore at Cornell who signed the petition. “I really am not one to go around and tell people what to do, but for me, this was troubling. Three months of being careful and not engaging in problematic behavior are worth saving a life.”

Jessica Zhang, the student who posted the party scene to Snapchat, said she had apologized and met with Cornell officials. Neither Ms. Zhang nor Cornell would say whether she was disciplined.

In recent weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has spread swiftly on college campuses. The New York Times has tracked thousands of cases that were linked to returning students. Several schools, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNotre Dame, and the State University of New York College at Oneonta, suspended in-person classes after more than 100 students at each campus tested positive, often following large parties.

As a result, growing numbers of college officials are realizing that there are limits to what they can monitor on their own — and are calling on students to help.

Colgate University sent students a memo encouraging them to report classmates who violate social-distancing guidelines and to include names so action could be taken. Similar instructions were sent out at schools across the country from the University of Colorado Boulder to the University of Pennsylvania. Yale University and some other colleges have hotlines in place for reports of risky activity.

It’s an extraordinary situation, and students face a quandary: Report parties to campus officials? Or keep quiet and hope for the best? As one freshman said at Hunter College, which has a dorm open even though classes are remote this semester: “I don’t know if I’d want to narc on people I’m trying to become friends with.”

For those in the middle of it, the choice is not as simple as they might have expected.

“Before coming here, I remember thinking ‘Yeah, I’ll definitely report people if they’re going to parties,’” said Kyle Duran, a freshman at Binghamton University in upstate New York. But after spending just a few days on campus, Mr. Duran had second thoughts. “It’s a lot harder to want to when you’re living and going to class with everyone.”

Some faculty members at schools have warned against asking students to police their peers. They have said doing so could disrupt student life when classmates are pitted against one other, particularly when the consequences for breaking the rules can be harsh.

SUNY Plattsburgh, for example, placed 43 students on interim suspension last week after a large outdoor gathering. Fifteen others at Marist College, a small liberal arts school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., were recently sent home for not following rules at an off-campus party, while at Ohio State University, more than 200 have been suspended for similar reasons.

Ariana Rebello, a freshman at Hofstra University on Long Island, said hearing about those punishments at other schools has dissuaded her from attending parties, but also from reporting her classmates. “I don’t think I could bring myself to snitch. I just wouldn’t associate with them,” she said.

In states with high virus counts, many administrators said they worried that college parties could accelerate an all-but-inevitable rise of clusters on their campuses. But in the New York metropolitan area, which has largely continued to stem its own outbreak, the concerns carry a different weight.

Some epidemiologists said they feared that college parties and large social gatherings could lead to a resurgence of the virus in places like the New York region that have kept case counts low.

“The biggest concern is that you are going to have newly infected people leave these parties and disperse back into their communities,” said Dr. Stephen Thomas, an infectious disease specialist at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “It’s that they’re going to be sources for continuing to spread the virus and it’s going to reverse the work that has already been done.”

Many students say they have more self-interested reasons to report their peers. On TikTok and other social media platforms, videos have gone viral in which students say “snitching” on their classmates would be an easy choice because of how much it costs to attend their colleges.

But for others like Cambria Kelley, a first-year graduate student at New York University, the issue is more personal. Ms. Kelley, who is from California, said several members of her family contracted the illness over the last few months, including her grandmother who died in July.

N.Y.U. has asked students to “politely urge” their classmates to wear masks and socially distance and to report those who violate that advice to school officials. And despite the friendships she may form with her classmates, Ms. Kelley said she will still feel an obligation to do so, keeping her family in mind.

“If it was bad enough, I wouldn’t hesitate to report them,” Ms. Kelley said. “I’m not going to be having my life put at risk because people decided to be selfish. These rules are for the good of everyone here.”

Some students, however, said deciding whether to report classmates involves a different calculation.

As a national conversation erupted on the role of police in cities following the killing of George Floyd, groups at schools including Vassar College, Stony Brook University and Columbia University called on their institutions to rethink their relationships with campus and local police.

Now they are wrestling with the prospect of relying on those departments to disperse and crackdown on large gatherings.

Maggie Peng, a senior at Syracuse University, said she plans to approach friends one-on-one to have conversations about the risks of partying. She even wrote a lengthy message in a Facebook group for first-year students urging them to take social distancing more seriously after a large outdoor gathering that drew hundreds.

But Ms. Peng said shifting the responsibility for keeping one another safe from individual students to campus police was troubling. She and other students at the school said that since large social events occurred two weeks ago, they have noticed more officers than usual monitoring residential spaces and common areas.

Ms. Peng said the role of campus security in enforcing rules would dissuade her from reporting her classmates.

“It just doesn’t make sense to rely on-campus police for enforcing these rules,” Ms. Peng said. “Especially when there has been so much tension, it’s hard to want them involved. Anything bad that happens will usually involve students of color.”

As the first weeks back on campuses shift into the more regular pace of the fall, the question remains: Just how long will students, many of whom arrived in New York State to a mandatory two-week quarantine, continue to follow their schools’ physical-distancing guidelines?

Some officials at large universities in particular worry parties, especially those off-campus, could slip by undetected.

For now, the students who are caught attending them face harsh punishments as a warning to others.

Ms. Zhang, the first-year student at Cornell who posted videos of a party to Snapchat, said in a recent interview that she deeply regrets both the “lapse in judgment” she made by attending the gathering and her “insensitive comments” afterward.

“Incoming freshmen come in with heavy expectations, we all want to find our people,” Ms. Zhang said. “I’m not proud of those posts, they show me at my worst.”

Since her posts spread on social media, Ms. Zhang said she has received hundreds of threats, with much of the heaviest criticism coming from classmates.

As classes at Cornell begin this week, there may soon be an additional layer to complicated tensions students face when reporting one another: Ms. Zhang could end up sitting in the same row of her first college lectures as those who called for her expulsion.

The federal government has told states to prepare for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready to distribute by Nov. 1.

The timeline raised concern among public health experts about an “October surprise” — a vaccine approval driven by political considerations ahead of a presidential election, rather than science.

In a letter to governors dated Aug. 27, Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said states “in the near future” will receive permit applications from McKesson Corp., which has contracted with CDC to distribute vaccines to places including state and local health departments and hospitals.

“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Redfield wrote.

He wrote that any waivers will not compromise the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine. The Associated Press obtained the letter, which was first reported by McClatchy.

The CDC also sent three planning documents to some health departments that included possible timelines for when vaccines would be available. The documents are to be used to develop plans for early vaccination when the supply might be constrained, according to one of the documents, which outlined a scenario in which a vaccine could be available as soon as the end of October.

“The COVID-19 vaccine landscape is evolving and uncertain, and these scenarios may evolve as more information is available,” the document reads.

Another of the documents says that limited COVID-19 vaccine doses may be available by early November and that supply will increase substantially in 2021.

It also states that initially available vaccines will either be approved by the Food and Drug Administration or authorized by the agency under its emergency powers.

The documents encourage health officials to work out now which groups to prioritize for a vaccine, identify providers who will administer the vaccine, and take other steps to prepare. The planning documents were first reported by The New York Times.

Redfield told Yahoo Finance that officials were preparing “for what I anticipate will be a reality, is that there’ll be one or more vaccines available for us in November, December.”

James S. Blumenstock, a senior vice president at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said the CDC was offering “an aggressive but necessary timetable” and that public health agencies were mobilizing to prepare detailed plans.

Several public health experts pointed out that final stage trials of experimental vaccines are still recruiting, and are at best halfway through that process. The vaccines are two doses, and each is given a month apart. The experts told the AP they did not understand how there could be adequate data on whether the vaccines work and are safe before Nov. 1.

“Being ready is reasonable. Cutting short phase 3 trials before you get the information you need isn’t,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia immunization expert who sits on the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee.

Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor University’s tropical medicine school, said he was “very concerned” about whether the FDA would use an emergency use authorization to approve a vaccine before knowing whether it works and is safe.

“It gives the appearance of a stunt rather than an expression of public health concern,″ Hotez said.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn previously said the agency wouldn’t cut corners in evaluating vaccines, though it would aim to expedite its work. He told the Financial Times this week that it might be “appropriate” to approve a vaccine before clinical trials were complete if the benefits outweighed the risks.

Unlike a therapeutic that is given to sick people who may have no alternative, a vaccine is given to healthy people, “so you have a much higher burden of proof,” said Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s public health school.

“I think it’s reasonable to be communicating to hospitals and saying — at some point late in the fall or winter,” Jha said. “November feels awfully early.”

Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota infectious disease expert, said he was concerned about an “October surprise” with a vaccine being rushed through ahead of the election.

“The public health community wants a safe and effective vaccine as much as anybody could want it,” Osterholm said. “But the data have to be clear and compelling.”

He said there was a “credibility gap” between doctors and the FDA about how rigorously products are being evaluated during the pandemic.

Some state officials said Wednesday that they were working on the next steps while still awaiting details from CDC, and some sounded a cautious note.

Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota’s infectious disease director, told the AP the state would only move forward “once we know it is safe.” She said they would take their lead from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which she said: “will only recommend a vaccine that has met the safety criteria.”

The Oregon Board of Pharmacy said it would expedite McKesson’s applications but wouldn’t waive requirements necessary to maintain public health and safety. Its executive director, Joe Schnabel, said in a statement that the board didn’t have enough information on how distribution would work “to speculate about whether it will be fully operational by November 1st.”

The office of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said state officials don’t know yet what is being asked of them, and will first need to do “an extensive review of the potential benefits or pitfalls of such waivers.”

New Mexico Human Service Secretary David Scrase said the state was preparing to administer coronavirus vaccines on a limited basis starting in November to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The broad public vaccine roll-out is slated for January. He said current vaccine provider networks are robust and adequate for the COVID-19 effort.

Regarding the timing of the CDC request to expedite or waive permits for distribution centers to open Nov. 1, Scrase said, “I can’t tell you about the political motivations on that.”

A spokesman for Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee said the state was reviewing its next steps.

“News of a vaccine is encouraging and a testament to the power of American innovation,” said the spokesman, Gillum Ferguson.

And in Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wasn’t aware of the CDC news, but he said people shouldn’t think that the virus will be gone in two months once a vaccine is released.

“I would hope that the federal government would kind of take the lead on that,” said DeSantis, a Trump ally. “Hopefully they have a plan to do it and will really focus on those vulnerable among us.”