COVID19 Update From Dr. Hall – June 17, 2020

By on June 17, 2020 under Uncategorized

Thanks to everyone for your many kind comments about the pt letters. It has been busy since “phase 2” reopening and I wanted to sit down and write another one.

My oldest son is an actuary and has been sheltering with us while working from home until he is able to go back into the office at Liberty Mutual. We have been taking the opportunity to go on our walks in the evenings after work and on the weekends. While walking on Chestnut street in Lynnfield we came across a lovely gesture – Someone put out a sign that says: “Take what you need, or leave one behind” and underneath left a dish with polished river stones painted with inspirational sayings. The last few times we walked by the selection of stones has been slowly diminishing so people have been taking them up on the offer. A wonderful act of kindness at a challenging time.

We have been enjoying sitting in the front yard by our perennial garden and my wife pointed out a hummingbird this weekend-I was lucky to be able to capture a photo with my iPhone camera.

The climbing roses on the garage (William Baffin variety) have nearly exploded with blooms this June. I am wondering if I was too generous with the fertilizer last fall. I spent some time pruning and tying them up to the trellis this weekend. I didn’t want to throw away the flowers that I pruned so I put them in water for the house.

Speaking of roses, my wife and I are celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary this Wednesday and I always get her roses for the happy occasion. Don’t worry, these come from the florist! The 31 years have gone by faster than I could imagine, and we are both hoping for many more.

What were you all the happiest about with phase 2? My hair was the longest it has been since I was 16 and I was thrilled to finally be able to get a haircut. My son got his hair cut, my wife made her trip to her stylist, and even Ranger and Shiloh, our 2 Collies made it to be groomed! A relief for all.

We are asking the same questions that many of you are asking – how to decide what is safe and worth doing now that things are “opening up” a little. Dr. Gottlieb, a physician and former director of the FDA, wrote a recent opinion piece recommended that we be Flexible and Vigilant”

Dr. Makary of Johns Hopkins and the editor in chief of MedPage discusses recent updates from the CDC that the risk of droplet airborne transmission is far greater than from the transmission of the virus through surfaces, and stresses the importance of universal masking to prevent a second wave.

And I read a thoughtful piece written by an Emergency room physician from Virginia, giving her analysis of what she feels is safe to do as her state reopens. One hint: it usually involves wearing a mask.

And speaking of masks: A 4 year randomized study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA) of health care workers in close contact with patients suspected of having respiratory illness showed that N95 respirators and medical masks were equally effective in preventing laboratory confirmed influenza or other viral respiratory infection or illness. Although not specifically studied yet with Covid-19 it may give some comfort that medical masks may be as protective as N95 masks when it comes to protecting health care workers (and others) in close contact with suspected respiratory illness.

In the office we are busy seeing patients in phase 2. In addition to our normal procedures we have instituted new procedures to make sure that you are safe with us, and they seem to be working quite well.

Surgeries started back up at the hospitals 2 weeks ago for procedures that involve cancer or have a functional component and we have already done 4 breast reductions. The protocol involves getting tested for Coronavirus 48-72 hours before surgery. So far everyone has done great and has been pleased with the experience and sense of safety at the hospital. It is interesting to note that two of the patients are young women whose mothers’ work as nurses at the hospitals and are “on the inside” seeing all of the measures that the hospital has taken to insure patient safety.

And the other thing that I am happiest about in phase 2? Seeing so many of you back in person in the office, with the proper precautions of course.

Current CDC guidelines:

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