Responding Reasonably #2: Sex and Coronavirus

Q. The way people are talking, it sounds like we’re all likely to die…are we? A. No. The chance of dying from Covid-19 is only one in a hundred, 1%. That is a low rate, but keep in mind that it is 10 times higher than the death rate from the flu, which is one in a thousand, or 0.1%. That is the average: the rate of serious illness and death from Covid-19 increases with older age and underlying medical conditions (more on this below.) The chance of becoming infected with Covid-19 is much higher, over 50% by the time […]

Responding Reasonably to Coronavirus

A lot has been written and said about what people should do, and should not do, in response to the new coronavirus. Some of it makes sense, some seems extreme, and some is confusing and even contradictory. Here are some medically-informed suggestions to questions people are asking. I am using the common term coronavirus rather than the more technical terms “novel coronavirus” or “COVID-19.” Why is it called ‘novel’? Doesn’t that mean fictional? “Novel” can refer to fiction, but it also means “new.” When a virus human have never been exposed to starts infecting people and causes a new kind […]


Dear Dr. Eva, I’m in a relationship with someone I care for very much. We are not young, and we have had other long-term relationships. We enjoy being together and I think our prospects are good. My partner thinks that our relationship may not be the right one because neither of us feels “in love.” When I ask what she means by “in love,” what she describes sounds unhealthy: “butterflies,” rapid heartbeat, obsessiveness about the other person, and a higher sex drive than either of us has had for years, with any partner. I’m not sure I’ve been “in love” […]

What is a Cyst?

Dear Dr. Eva, What is a cyst? I have ovarian cysts. My partner had a ganglion cyst taken off her foot. My mother has cysts on her scalp. A friend has cysts in her breasts. Are these all the same thing? What causes them? Do they ever turn into cancer? Plain Jane   Dear Jane, “Cyst” is a general term, like “rash” or pain,” that is used for many different conditions. A cyst is any small, closed, rounded area, anywhere in the body, that has a lining and is filled with material different from the normal tissue around it. A […]

Simple, Healthy Changes for 2020

Dear Readers, Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. When a person can’t stick with the changes they planned – which is what usually happens – they may feel like a double failure. Not only are they continuing the behavior they meant to change, they also have been unable to keep their commitment. Considering this, my first thought was that it might be best to swear off the whole idea of New Year’s resolutions. But on second thought, it would be a shame not to make good use of the motivation for positive change that many people feel at the […]

Is it Safe to Take Steroids to Build Muscle?

Dear Dr. Eva, I’m hoping you’ll give a straight answer on this: Is it okay to take steroid shots to build up muscles? Don’t steroids build up your immune system as well as your muscles? I know you shouldn’t buy them on the street, but what if you get them from a doctor? Gym Rat   Dear Gym Rat, Yes, I can give you a straight answer. Anabolic-androgenic steroids, the medical name for muscle-building steroids, are bad for your health. What are they? There are several types of anabolic steroids, but most are illegal in the US. The only one […]

Translating Medspeak

Hello Dr. Eva, When my mother’s heart specialist told me she had heart failure, I thought that meant she was about to die. After all, when something fails that means it doesn’t work anymore, right? I was extremely upset. After I searched online and talked to my own family doctor, I learned that people with heart failure often live on for years. And I understand the same thing is true for kidney “failure.” Why use such scary language when that isn’t even what they really mean? Annoyed   Dear Annoyed, You are 100% right! Saying someone has “heart failure” does […]

Update on Vaping

Dear Dr. Eva, Since most vaping disease has been linked to THC products, does that mean it’s safe to vape nicotine without THC? Addicted to vaping Dear Dr. Eva, Have they found out yet what causes lung damage from vaping? My son is still vaping. JB   Dear Dr. Eva, I saw on the news that vitamin E in vaping liquid is causing the lung disease. I take vitamin E as an antioxidant. Is it dangerous? Should I stop? Vitamin Lady   Dear Addicted, JB, and Vitamin Lady, As more people are getting sick and dying from vaping complications, we’re […]

Flu Season 2019-20 – Q&A

1) How many people die from the flu in the US every year? a – 10,000 b – 50,000 c – 100,000   2) When does flu season start? a – November b – January c – You can get the flu any time, but it’s most common in the winter.   3) Does getting flu vaccine prevent the flu? a – Yes, 100% b – It cuts your chance of getting the flu in half c – It doesn’t work at all, it’s a scam   4) What parts of the body does the flu virus attack? a – […]

How Alcohol Affects Your Body

Dear Dr. Eva, I don’t have a drinking problem and never have. A few months ago, I decided to stop drinking because I was gaining weight and I know alcohol has a lot of calories. I used to have two to three drinks several days a week. I’m amazed at how much better I feel physically after stopping alcohol. I stopped getting headaches, my sleep is better, I don’t have problems with heartburn anymore and I was able to stop taking sleeping pills and medicine for reflux. Even a rash I couldn’t seem to get rid of has healed up. […]