After the initial rush of the pandemic with all the confusion and chaos, it is time to settle into the present and dare to envision the future. I closed my clinic from March 23rd to April 9th with one exception and several forays into telehealth. Protecting my patients, and my staff was and is paramount. I have reopened with definite changes to the way I treat patients and operate my clinic. Tantamount is providing the care that is needed while preventing the spread of the virus. This pandemic isn't over....yet.
I want you to know what we do to keep you safe. We screen each patient before making the appointment. We require everyone (staff included) to wear masks. If you do not have a mask, we will provide you with a mask.
We use standard surgical masks, because it was obvious to me when the pandemic was first reported and now to us all that wearing masks IS essential. So I ordered surgical masks while they were still available. The N-95 masks should be reserved for the people on the front lines; our hospital and other medical workers in contact with symptomatic patients; but for the rest of us, we need to continue to "mask-on" with our masks whenever and wherever distancing is not possible.
We wipe everything you may have come in contact with after you leave the building with approved sanitizers. We allow one patient in the building at a time. We have lots of hand sanitizer for you to use and request you to use it. ...Now about that future.
We don't know if this particular virus will be controllable by a vaccine. If it does not mutate in certain ways like the influenza virus does, perhaps a vaccine will be successful. If the mutations allow the virus to by bypass the vaccine then we will be in the same boat as with "the flu" (in-flu-enza). Nevertheless, we do know a number of conditions that predispose us to more serious symptoms and possible hospitalization. Obviously we want to avoid these complications. Of these conditions, at least three are controllable and in many patients - reversible. Want to know more? I will be elaborating on these topics in upcoming blogs.
B.S (that's for Blog Script like P.S. is for Post Script, not the usual B.S.)
Here's a little trick I learned from a patient:
Use a coffee filter inside your mask. It stiffens the mask and keeps it from touching your mouth and you can throw it away as often as needed. Coffee filters are inexpensive and still easy to find!