Clinic & clinical updates:
- We are still here to care for you!! Don’t hesitate to reach out with anything. We are continuing to offer virtual care via email, phone calls and/or videoconferencing (and still want to make sure things like blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, anxiety, etc. are well managed).
- Under certain circumstances, your physician will decide that some people will need an in-person visit; they will coordinate logistics for in-person visits if the need arises.
- We will start our slightly reduced AM hours this week. We will open at 9 am going forward.
- As part of the stay-at-home order, we all will be, for the most part, working from home; please call (913-730-0331) to confirm someone is at the office if you’re needing to physically swing by.
- COVID-19 PCR testing continues this week at KCDPC; it is $75 for the visit. Our lab vendor will bill either bill you or your insurance for the cost of the test ($50-70) in several months. If you or a loved one, coworker, friend, neighbor, acquaintance or just anyone you care about would like to be tested, this questionnaire must first be filled out.
- We are also working to get IgG/IgM testing kits to test if someone had the virus.
- The basic facts about the virus remain unchanged: it is spread via droplet, affects the elderly more frequently than the young (and affects people with conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease far more severely than people who don’t have those conditions), and can be present even in those who don’t have symptoms.
- If someone does test positive for COVID-19 and they are well enough to stay at home, they’re to quarantine at home and follow some basic guidelines to prevent the spread to others.
- We still don’t have an evidence-based cure for the illness other than supportive care; however, trials are ongoing across the US and the world.
- Vaccine development is still in the works but also takes time to be tested and confirmed that they actually work and do not cause harm.
- Seeing as we have no vaccine or clear treatment, the best plan is to protect yourself and prevent contracting the illness! If you must go out, try your best to keep a 6-foot radius from others. Better yet — stay home as much as possible and take advantage of delivery services or curbside pickup. Hand washing is essential, as is good rest, healthy eating, exercise, and all the usual best practices. (And, in an interesting twist, a recent New York Times article suggests that maybe more of us should be wearing masks…)
- COVID-19 testing is slowly opening up in the community. Last week we learned that St. Luke’s had a few drive-through testing sites, an Urgent Care Chain is offering it, and the Sharon Lee Family Health Center continues to offer it as well. We are in continued talks with the Wyandotte County Health Department to assist them in any way to expand (and lower the cost) of testing in the community.
- Kansas is enforcing a stay-at-home order; Missouri has a forced social distancing order. Most communities in the KC metro area are enforcing stay-at-home orders as well.
- What info direct from the source in real time? Keep up to date on both Kansas and Missouri statistics through their websites.
National political and economic updates:
- It’s hard to say exactly how many tests for COVID-19 have been done in the US. The CDC is tracking the number of tests they have done + the number done by public health (= state) labs, however, these numbers do not appear to contain testing done at hospitals and large, commercial labs (which is actually where the majority of testing is occuring at this point). They’re hoping to change this, though, so stay tuned!
- The COVID-19 Stimulus package, called the CARES act (full text here), was passed last week and has a TON of elements relating to direct cash payments, student loan repayment changes, unemployment (even for 1099 gig workers!), and small business loans — among other things. The New York Times has an FAQ here.
Some bright points to end on (because if we can’t find silver linings here we’re all going to lose our minds):
- Social distancing is helping to flatten the curve in Washington!
- Also — a recent paper notes that public health initiatives like social distancing may be good for the economy in the long run — if you take the 1918 flu as an example.
- Brené Brown — an amazing social researcher — just launched a podcast that talks about vulnerability and growth in this uncertain time. So put on your headphones, and head out for a walk with some good food for thought! (Separated from others by 6 feet, of course.)
- Lastly, the Kansas Basketball team finished the season as #1 in the final AP poll; I believe that this makes them national champions, and I’m going to just run with that even though Dr. Short is a K-State fan and probably doesn’t agree with me.
Keep on keepin up, KC!
Allison Edwards, MD