The Secondary Health Crisis of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world and will be the biggest health crisis that most of us will ever see. It has changed the way all of healthcare will deal with viruses for the rest of time.
We are all taking huge precautions to slow the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”. Wearing masks, staying home from work and school, missing sports and activities, and avoiding everyone that does not live in your house (just to name a few) are the least we can do to stay healthy ourselves and to help those on the frontline to be able to help those who are sick.
Currently, I have no idea how this will affect everyday life going forward. Will we all continue wearing masks? Stay away from crowds? Will schools look different?
I have no idea…I hope not.
What I do know is that we are currently developing a secondary health crisis, because of COVID-19. Obviously, our current primary health crisis is the number one priority in our world, but we are leading this world into another health crisis that will be SO much harder to define.
The secondary health crisis is coming because ALL of us are ignoring all the rest of our health concerns. I see it daily as many of my patients have decided (most with good reason) to hold off on their therapy until “this passes”, but it just tells me that if people are staying away from therapy, they are also staying out of their doctor’s offices, the testing labs, and dentists offices.
There are no routine blood works being taken. People have skipped their Cardiologist appointments. Cancer screening—probably missed that too.
There is a huge concern coming that things will be missed, and there is a chance that the effects of coronavirus will be felt for years to come as we all find issues that could have been caught earlier if we weren’t stuck at home…that’s not even to mention the huge health risks of laying on the couch eating for weeks on end!
So, what should we do about it….
I can’t speak for your cardiologist, oncologist, or even GP, but I can tell you what we are doing to combat the coming secondary health crisis.
We are staying open! No matter how few patients can see us, because we believe that helping even one person is worth it. To stay open, we are following all state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing and wearing masks. No one who is or has been ill will be allowed in our office, so we can protect ourselves AND everyone else. We are diligently cleaning before and after each patient (as always), and wiping down all surfaces including door handles, counters, chairs, and equipment multiple times a day. We are purposely scheduling downtime in between each patient, so that patients should never run into another patient and we have time to thoroughly disinfect.
So, if you feel safe going out and going into the grocery store, you should know that you will be infinitely safer in our office.
But I completely understand when someone’s medical history way (or a promise made to a family member) gets in the of them getting out. For these people, we are offering Telehealth visits, where we can meet virtually to go through a thorough discussion of the problem (how it’s affecting life now and how its changed since the quarantine started) and a battery of test and measures to determine what is going on and discussing what the problem is and how to fix it. Then, fix it through virtual visits. Of course, there is no way for me to use hands on therapy to help, but that is where years of experience and creativity come in to get the results you want.
We are also offering a hybrid version of both in person and virtual visits for those who need to be careful going out, but still want the in-person experience and hands on care (in our sterile environment).