COVID-19 - the coronavirus - Protection and Reassurance
The current situation regarding COVID-19 the coronavirus is stressful and upsetting. Please remember, there is no reason to panic. The vast majority of us, if we contract the virus, will get cold symptoms or at worst, flu symptoms.
If you’re fully vaccinated (2 weeks after your final dose), you no longer need to wear a mask in most settings. However, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask at the doctor’s office.
The precautions recommended by the government are mainly adequate hand-washing, mask wearing and social distancing, to slow the spread of the virus; this is to protect the vulnerable among us, including the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and smokers. 99.5% of us have nothing to worry about for ourselves – but we do want to protect our loved ones and friends who may be at increased risk of lung and other complications of COVID-19 the coronavirus.
As of 5/1/2020, the governor of VA has said it’s fine for elective surgery cases to proceed in the commonwealth. So, if you’ve been thinking about improving your vision, this is a great time to do it. Your work schedule may have greater flexibility, so this could be an easy time for LASIK. Within 2 – 4 hours after the procedure, most patients are watching TV and driving the next day! Clearly, masks and glasses or contacts are a difficult combination! You don’t have to keep fogging up your glasses with that mask on – it’s time to get rid of your dependence on glasses.
We are a medical office and always take the utmost precautions to protect our patients from communicable disease. Sterilization and cleanliness are something we’re used to getting right every day. During this time, we’re decreasing our schedule, so we see one patient in the office at a time, to limit risk of others to the minimal chance of exposure. This way, we can keep everything extra clean and minimize any possibility of transmission of COVID-19 the coronavirus. We’ve installed HEPA air purifiers throughout the office, so you can relax when visiting us; the air is constantly being cleaned.
If you are already one of our patients, please feel confident that you are safe coming to the office for your exams. For our new patients, you can expect to be secure in our office. Dr. Tanchel and our entire staff have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine, so are much less likely to expose you to the virus when visiting our office. Nevertheless, we continue to wear masks and clean the air with HEPA filers and UV light.
To anyone who may be coming to our office – if you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, please call ahead; those symptoms probably require testing for coronavirus. Please get in touch with us and we can refer you, if necessary. Please stay home if you feel sick – call your doctor to determine what testing you may need.
Let’s all keep a level head during this time. We should keep stress to minimum for good health.
Follow the guidelines:
- avoid touching your face when out and about
- wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water to remove germs, or use hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol, which should dry on your hands to kill germs (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf)
- try to keep a distance of about 3 – 6 feet between you and others to avoid the spread of the virus.
- cough into your elbow
- feel sick? Stay home!
The CDC has updated the list of symptoms that may occur with COVID-19. Symptoms may range from mild to severe illness and may include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
None of the above symptoms mean you have COVID-19 the coronavirus, but if you have these symptoms it may be time to get tested for the virus. Call your internal medicine or family practice doctor for more guidance.