March 16, 2020

reality

For a Monday, I saw just a handful of patients, but spent time planning, coordinating my team, getting trained for the Acute Respiratory Clinic. Phone calls and My Chart messages kept me busy. As a primary care provider, I am still busy and have other reasons to see people, we are essential. Patients still get sick with other illness, like my colleague today who sent someone to the ER with acute appendicitis. We will continue to be busy and hope to get Telehealth up and running by next week. I am telling all of my older patients to not come in. I do not want them exposed. The specialists are feeling it more than us. And as we are gearing down, the Acute Respiratory Clinics are gearing up. Not quite exponential, but a definite doubling or tripling since being started 10 days ago. And the number of positive tests are increasing, still only about 10% of the tests. Still lots of positive flu tests. Everyone gets a flu test first. This will be my life for the next while, who knows how long. But I am lucky to have a job and meaningful work, I worry so much about all of the waiters and cooks and other workers who have none.

I was so busy at work I did not hear about the “shelter in place” mandate in the Bay Area. Wow! I worried about my many friends there. And my friends and I worried here: Does it mean we can’t ever go outside to walk? Being able to get outside gives a psychic space to the isolation that makes it bearable. And then I read that the health department director said it is OK to go outside to exercise as long as you keep 10 feet away from others. Whew! Maybe a little harder in parts of Oakland and San Francisco, but definitely doable in my neighborhood.

And the day was spent addressing if rumors and advice were valid or not. WHO has a website to help debunk the myths. And I am thinking how can I help out people who are hurting with the closing of restaurants and business. We will order apples from our favorite fruit sellers at the Farmers Market and deliver the fruits to the food bank. And we will order food to go from a local restaurant that we have been meaning to visit. And Jamie has become a Patreon of some favorite musicians. We will find more ways to give. Life goes on. And I am more than ready for bed.

Don’t forget to wash your hands, and stay safe.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters