First off, we will be open on a limited schedule for those in need. With our healthcare under a tremendous strain, we know people struggling with musculoskeletal issues shouldn’t be taking up critical time and space at their primary care doctor’s practice, or worse, the emergency room. We are also offering virtual appointments/telemedicine which people have been taking advantage of.
We continue to follow the latest health and safety regulations and are staying up-to-date on the recommendations of the CDC and our local government.
These are unprecedented times. Mayor Breed, along with the officials of the surrounding counties, ordered us all “to ‘shelter in place’ to curb coronavirus spread”. Based on the emergency alerts last week, we immediately went into planning mode, even canceling patient visits for the next three weeks. We stayed open for hours after our usual closing to squeeze in patients.
The safety of our patients and our community is always our first priority. We will, of course, comply with all orders from the public health officials. But we felt terrible about closing our doors in a time of such acute need. The feedback from patients we spoke with was panic about what they should do for their pain and needs. They felt abandoned.
The official order emphasizes that “[a]ll Essential Businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open.” Healthcare practitioners are, of course, among the Essential Businesses. We are, in fact, our own section of the order: “For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any “Healthcare Operations” including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined.”
Based on this we will remain open.
Our services make social distancing strictures difficult. Of course, the patient and doctor cannot maintain the prescribed six feet of space, but we will diligently comply with the rest of the suggestions. We will continue to wash our hands with soap and water between every patient. We will continue to sanitize all tools and tables between every visit. We will limit our clinic to one doctor at a time to comply as best we can with social distancing norms. We will move a waiting room seat to the hall. If anyone of us exhibits any symptoms, we will stay home and we urge you to do the same. Read our Social Distance Policy here.
Reliably sourced information is critical in times like these. The CDC and WHO are the front lines and best source for information and warnings. Our local county departments of public health are monitoring local conditions and making recommendations for our behavior and safety.
There are many simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Many are noted in the links above. But there are a few simple, cheap (and even free) precautions that I think are often overlooked that I want to remind you of. Scary new situations sometimes send us looking for a fancy new cure. We need that, too, but there is a lot we know how to do and can easily accomplish with our available resources.
- Sleep well. It is incredible how much getting abundant, high-quality sleep improves the health of your body and your mental state. Our bodies need strength to fight off disease, but in the stress of the unknown and the economic impact of our new shelter-in-place order, we need equally strong mental health. If you’re looking for some shelter-in-place reading, I recommend Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
- Eat nutrient-dense food and stay away from sugar. My wife eats tabbouleh and kale salads like most people drink water. Do this. Avoid the end of Thin Mint season.
- Cut or limit alcohol intake. Alcohol depresses your immune system. It’s a tempting stress crutch, but it has an impact on your immunity.
- If you smoke or vape (yes, marijuana is considering smoking), limit or stop. COVID-19 mostly affects the respiratory tract and overworking your lung tissue with inhaled smoke doesn’t help your ability to fight off and recover from infection.
- If you’re not sick, get outside into the sunshine and clean air. There are many hiking and outdoor options available in our area that still allows us social distance while getting exercise. The shelter-in-place order explicitly allows us to exercise outdoors. The trails are open.
- Stay hydrated. With *water*.
- New Rule: Don’t touch your phone during your meal or meal prep. Phones are filthy so if you HAVE to touch it, wash your hands before you begin eating or cooking again.
We look forward to supporting you through this. As conditions change, we will be adapting and updating you on our homepage where it says COVID-19 updates and you can schedule here.
For home workstation tips watch our new video: