Unfortunately, we are still living in a pandemic. Fortunately, fewer infected people are dying now than in the spring. I still believe that vitamin D plays a role in diminishing the severity of symptoms and can explain part of the drop in mortality. Medical doctors are also getting better at treating patients. I expect the mortality rate to increase in the fall as people’s vitamin D levels drop.
We now have a better understanding of the transmission of the virus. Research is showing that it is not just spread by droplets, but also via aerosols. Droplets from talking, sneezing, laughing, and coughing spray out of our mouths and travel a distance and then drop to the ground. Aerosols, on the other hand, are microscopic and can be released just from breathing. Droplets drop quickly to the ground while aerosols will remain airborne for hours and can accumulate in an indoor environment.
New studies also confirm that people can be both contagious and symptom-free.
Masks significantly reduce the amount of droplets and aerosols coming from our mouths and noses. They also significantly reduce the amount that we breathe in. Tighter fitting masks and keeping the mask over both our mouth and nose will increase our mask’s effectiveness.
With this new understanding of transmission, we have implemented some additional tools to additionally reduce the likelihood of spread at the office.
- We have installed 5 HEPA air purifiers throughout the office to remove aerosols from the air.
- We are spraying a lavender-water mixture after each visit. The idea is that the spray will envelop aerosols and help them drop to the ground.
- We have asked the building management to replace the women’s restroom fan with a more effective one. They should be installing it this week.
- Masks are required upon entering. (This is state law.) If you forget your mask, let us know when you call before coming into the office. One of us will run one out to you so that you can stay compliant.
We remind you to call before entering the building. Calling first helps us to juggle clients, keeping them in separate rooms and not crossing paths in the hallways.
We are continuing our policies of
- Temperature checks when you enter.
- Having all clients wash their hands upon entering.
- Sanitizing all surfaces between patients.
- Separating patients in different rooms and keeping them from crossing paths in the hallways.
- Free mailing on all supplements.
- No charge cancellation with Dr. Michael if you call ahead of your appointment. Let us know if you are sick, have a temperature, or are not feeling well. (However, we are reinstituting charges for any no show or forgetting of your appointment.)
My goal is to make our office safe for even the most vulnerable of our clients.
Enjoy the outdoors and find beauty where you can. I expect that things will get worse in the fall as we return indoors and vitamin D levels drop. This is a serious disease with 8% of those infected still being hospitalized with many continuing to experience symptoms months after onset.
As we look towards the fall, we will continue to look at how we can improve our systems and policies to reimagine what is possible with Covid-19 safety in the healthcare environment.