Hello. My life is affected in so many ways. Here are a few.
1. As a PCP in private practice, the clinic where I rent has been open to one provider at a time, with patients scheduled such that there is no waiting in the waiting area. This has vastly reduced the number of patients I see with a corresponding reduction in income. I also introduced telemedicine, and may also introduce house calls shortly. These are cash visits, but I really don’t make much money from them. Still a vast reduction in income. I do these things to reduce risk, both to myself and my patients.
2. As someone very close to the “increased risk” age range, I have vastly reduced my social conversations in real life. While I tend to be an introvert, this definitely changes my ability to see friends. Zoom is good, phone calls are okay, but the true face to face conversations have a depth to them that virtual reality does not convey. Still, I do these things too.
3. Perhaps the most disturbing to me is the inability to visit my mother, who is in her late 80s. I call her twice daily to “check in.” She asks me repeatedly, “how much longer will this go on.” I answer repeatedly, “I don’t know, mom.” Because, really, I do NOT know how much longer. It depends on so many things, both known and unknown: will people behave as I do? will the government rules change yet again? how does this virus behave, REALLY? (etc etc)In the face of uncertainty, and a desire to continue to serve all while still protecting myself and others, I carry on. I have no idea of how much longer this is practical. Still.
Sincerely, and thanks to Whole Washington for asking.
Vicki Rhoades, ND