It’s been a busy week, with school closures and news conferences. News has been rapidly evolving on the medical front as well, and we have been busy trying to stay on top of the latest without succumbing to unnecessary panic. For whatever it is worth, as pediatricians we are fully on board with the current moves toward social distancing and limiting large gatherings. At present, these are the best tools we have to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. As of last night, the CDC changed it’s travel advisory to include… the entire world!
As many of you may know, the usual supply chains for medical equipment have been badly disrupted, further limiting our ability to manage this problem. At our office, access to disposable paper masks has been a particular problem. However, we received a delivery today and are expecting more next week. So, as of tomorrow, we will be asking all visitors with cough or fever, who are old enough to manage, to mask themselves as soon as they arrive at the office. Covering coughing and sneezing at the source is among the most effective tools we have to limit the spread of infection. Masking healthy people is of very limited value, but masking sick people will make a difference. If you happen to already have such masks, we ask you to use them to preserve our limited supply. Otherwise one will be provided at the office for as long as we have them.
Many of you will likely have heard the “shelter in place” advice. For children in particular, this illness is expected to be mild and taking sick children out in public may be putting someone more vulnerable at risk. To help people with mild symptoms manage at home, we are attempting to join the telemedicine revolution as quickly as possible. We have been working with a Telehealth company this week and hope to have something in place later next week for a “virtual visit” with your doctor. Stay tuned!