Message from Doc regarding COVID-19
To our patients, family, and friends (and most of you are all three):
- These are extraordinary times, calling for extraordinary measures; it’s an unusual situation, unique to our lifetimes.
- We are sheltering in place, not to decrease the total number of COVID-19 cases, but to flatten the curve of new cases. In this way we can better handle the new cases and we do not overwhelm the medical system and the resources to treat the serious cases.
- Flattening the curve will result in decreased numbers of serious complications because the demands on our healthcare system will be spread out over time.
- Luckily, this pandemic is not a serious disease like Smallpox or Ebola. This is a relatively mild disease that, if slowed, will not overwhelm our medical resources.
- Sheltering in place, minimizing social contacts, and social distancing, will all help flatten the curve. Hand-washing is important to slowing and decreasing the spread of the virus.
- Please watch one of the many hand-washing videos on the web to review the proper technique. This is not a rapid five second wash; it’s a thorough washing of the hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds.
- Hand sanitizer used after any hand contact is also very important. If you run out of hand sanitizer, ethyl alcohol (ethanol; drinking-type) alcohol is very effective, as is rubbing alcohol (my second choice for this type of virus) which most of you have from the pharmacy. If you run out, denatured alcohol (ethanol) from the hardware store is good.
- A hand sanitizer should be at least 60% alcohol and less than 90%; the water and moisture are necessary for the alcohol to work. So, about 2/3 alcohol and about 1/3 aloe vera gel or water will do the trick.
- When out in the world, or at home, remember to touch Keypads, door handles, gas pump handles, and the like with tissues or wipes, then discarded. Then remember to wash/sanitize your hands afterward.
- Groceries are still flowing in and food is in good supply; so buy what you need to minimize trips out, but there is no need to hoard.
- This COVID-19 (some use the term for the virus; some for the disease) will likely be with us a long time; possibly like the seasonal flu. We as a society will likely eventually develop herd immunity. The figures are so high for mortality likely because the number of infected and asymptomatic patients is under-tested and under-reported.
- Vaccines and treatments for the disease are developing as we speak.
- America’s current social distancing policies and protocols have resulted in travel being minimized, businesses closing, many workers out of jobs, and many folks telecommuting and working from home.
- The alternative was a more rapid spread of the disease overwhelming our medical resources and having many of the most vulnerable in society more at risk. Current precautions are extreme and inconvenient, but necessary to protect these folks.
- Please don’t go stir crazy by simply binge-watching Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and Acorn TV. By the way; lot of great shows are on Acorn TV these days.
- You might want to keep yourself healthy by getting more exercise and watching your diet. You might elect to maintain a good, normal, sleep schedule and get proper rest. We will send out a copy of our “Sleep Facts and Hacks” for anyone who is interested.
- If you are at home, but cannot work from home, consider planning projects for at least half your waking day; home repair, studying, personal improvement, financial projects, advancing your profession, etc. It helps to give yourself a reason to get up each day. Gardening and yard work are nice; sunshine, fresh air, and exercise always lift the spirit.
- The longer we are at home, the easier it is to lose motivation. Trying to work for too long is self-defeating. Working without a break becomes apathy. Something suggested by a friend is to alternate accomplishment and reward; work and play. Promise yourself that you will work with purpose and structure for one hour; then reward yourself with time off to play, like 30 minutes or an hour. Each time you have pushed yourself for one hour, make yourself do something relaxing and fun.
- Make this a time of practice for retirement, vacation, life in Zen mode, and being with the one you love. We do not yet know how many weeks or months the situation will last.
- Our dental offices, like many businesses, are now closed across the city, state, and country except for emergency and emergent treatment by mandate of the ADA, federal, and state governments. My personal opinion is that those dental offices staying open for regular dental treatment are putting their patients, staff, and society at risk for their own personal financial reasons and to keep the money flowing in. We are all scared of the financial consequences to us and our families; the safety of those around must take precedence.
- We have been advised that closure of our offices will be for about three weeks; until about April 6. My gut feeling is that this is optimistic and it will more likely be several additional weeks. We will likely reopen, for other than emergency treatment, when the number of new Covid-19 patients has slowed and we have enough proper masks, gloves, goggles, etc. to protect patients and staff.
- We will be checking in with our patients who are in provisional (temporary) crowns to seat the final crowns as soon as possible. If not done relatively soon, the final crowns will likely not fit and will need to be redone; this is not fun for any of us. All proper protocols for your safety and well-being are already in place in our office.
- We are, of course, as always, available for emergencies. For a true dental emergency please call our office phone, 770-497-9111, and follow the prompts on the recording. If no one gets back to you within an hour or two, the office cell phone is 770-624-1156.
- We have a large number of patients whom we treat for Sleep Disordered Breathing, and some questions have been raised regarding the use of CPAP during this time. Any of you using CPAP should contact your sleep physician for current recommendations,
- What we are being asked to do is less of a sacrifice than what many in this country sacrificed, contributed, and endured, and what this country has endured in our history of wars, previous depressions, and the like. This will be a hiatus, a brief interlude in our life‘s journey.
- What we will spend keeping us healthy and safe now will likely need to be recouped in the paying of higher taxes later, once our businesses and jobs are back to normal. I think we should all be prepared to make that sacrifice.
- We will survive, our businesses will reopen, and our jobs will return. We will get caught up and our country will continue to flourish and prosper.
- Please take the time to be with the ones you love and to love the ones you’re with.
- God bless us and God bless these United States of America.
P.S. In case you miss seeing Doc and Zoe, you can also view these videos Doc put together: