Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather – in their respective yards.  Over the last week, we have all seen more formal quarantine orders placed both locally and across many parts of the country.  We are bombarded with watching the numbers of increased cases rise multiple times per day.  Keep in mind, part of this increase is because people are actually getting tested now.  It does not necessarily mean that it is spreading much faster (though does not exclude this either).  We are seeing more reports of deaths on all forms of media.  Again, keep in mind that influenza has been responsible for far more death this year and nobody is panicking about that.

We maintain that there are still some uncertainties with this virus and what is the proper way to move forward.  We could give you strong arguments from multiple perspectives.  We as a nation must decide which path to take, and currently the path chosen is isolation.  These measures have a chance to work only if people are compliant.  So please don’t be congregating and hanging out in groups.  And as we said last week, please protect your elders.  While young folks can get this, it is another ballgame all together when an elderly person is infected.

If you have some time on your hands today and are looking for a great conversation on what is going on, watch the link posted below.  It is a more recent conversation with Dr. Offit, this time with Dr. Zubin Damania (a.k.a. ZDoggMD).  It covers a wide range of topics related to Coronavirus, some medical, some social.  Dr. Offit is leader among infectious disease in Pediatrics.  Dr. Zubin is a practicing physician with a major online following.  Check some of his other videos out as well.  He is educational (he is typically on point) and very entertaining to watch.  He does sometimes use raunchier language so be aware if watching with little ones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAeaFoSuJho

Here in the office, we are getting used to the new normal, and many of the protocols mentioned previously have been enacted.  We are instituting further changes this week in an attempt to continue to ensure that all children receive their appropriate standard health care while being able to care for the ill as well.

  • We have continued to segregate all patients/families
    • Half of our office is designated for well children, the other for ill. The rooms being used for well visits have not been used for sick visits in two weeks.
    • We have separate office hours for well and sick visits – morning visits are strictly well, afternoon strictly sick.
    • All patients are being checked in remotely via smartphone or computer so there are no patients or families in the waiting area. Families are advised while in their car as to which room to go to upon entry into the office.
  • The office is being cleaned during an extended lunch break prior to reopening for sick visits.
  • Rooms are cleaned between each patient more aggressively than typically required. We have been leaving extra time between patients to accomplish such.
  • We have instituted Telemedicine. Please call office for instructions on how to make use of this service.  Not all visits are able to be completed using the platform, but we have been able to use it to keep many out of the office.  In some cases, if a test such as a strep test needs to be performed, we may ask you to drive to the office and we can perform the test in your car.
  • We will be temporarily changing our office hours. In an attempt to continue to provide age appropriate well care visits for all children, starting this week we will be treating weekends as any other day. Well visits will be performed in the mornings along with Telemedicine visits.  Sick visits will be limited to the afternoons.  Office will likely close a bit earlier than typical – likely between 4 and 5pm.  As always, we will not turn away sick children that call earlier in the day for a visit if volume happens to be higher than expected.

As always, Peds First is here to serve and support our community to the best of our abilities.  As the situation continues to unfold, we will continue to provide updates.  We hope you all have adequate supplies while you are hibernating. Remember, this is temporary!  We will get through this.  Humanity has dealt with far worse.