Be SMART and Stay Healthy

You have been seeing a lot about the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our community and across the country. It is true that hospitalizations are increasing dramatically. Our local hospitals are making adjustments to deal with the increasing number of patients requiring hospital care including postponing certain elective procedures. It is very easy to get distressed over the news, but there are things you can do to help us in the medical community fight this pandemic.

I am fond of the advice by the self-proclaimed “nerdy girls” at DearPandemic.org who use the mnemonic SMART.

S = Space – Keep your distance! Maintain at least 6 feet from others.
M = Mask – Keep it on! Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times outside your home.
A = Air – Keep it fresh! Outdoors is safer than indoors. Order carryout instead of dining in.
R = Restrict – Keep it small! Restrict your interactions and activities to those that are essential.
T = Time – Keep it short! Less time you spend with people outside your household the less likely you’ll get sick.

If you stay SMART, you’ll help lower the community spread, leading to fewer cases and in turn, fewer hospitalizations and deaths.

The other thing you can do is to not forgo your normal medical care. Just because we have the COVID-19 crisis does not mean other diseases are taking a break. We are still seeing people with diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. We also need to make sure we are keeping people healthy to keep them out of the hospital for non-COVID illnesses. That means don’t delay your annual preventive visit, your mammogram, or your screening colonoscopy. Make sure your child or grandchild is getting their immunizations. If you have new symptoms, don’t put it off being evaluated until it worsens. We have implemented precautions to ensure we can provide care to everyone in a safe environment.

At Family Medical Center we have started several new practices since the start of the pandemic such as rooming patients directly upon arrival, evaluating patients outside the building in their vehicle, and using telemedicine for virtual visits. All patients are required to wear masks to enter the office and all employees wear appropriate personal protective equipment to deliver care. I am extremely proud of our team and the way they have responded to these new challenges. If you have questions about the measures we have implemented, please call.

We need your help. Be SMART and reduce the spread and stay healthy by continuing the care your need. We will get through this TOGETHER.

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