Social Distancing to Fight COVID-19, What Is it?

telehealth doctor through screen

By now it is on everyone's consciousness about the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  COVID-19 has been officially deemed a pandemic and has a higher mortality rate than the flu.  The virus is known to spread by respiratory droplets at least and can be spread by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.  There are approximately only 94,000 ICU beds in all of the United States, and while most people will recover with mild symptoms, the concern is that if too many people get infected at once, there won't be enough health care resources to take care of the number of patients experiencing severe cases, thus overwhelming our capacity.  The infection disproportionally affects the elderly and those with other medical conditions more severely.  So what can be done?  Besides washing your hands and using hand sanitizers frequently, social distancing is the strategy to deploy.  This means avoiding mass gatherings, keeping our distance between each other, and minimizing person-to-person interactions.  New York City and other municipalities and states are closing schools and other public establishments to implement social distancing measures. 

At Lumos Dermatology we are doing our part to commit to social distancing while balancing the need to provide health care.  For existing patients needing to be seen, we are offering teledermatology visits with photo submission and consultation online and by phone.  For new patients we are offering video conferencing for the initial evaluation.  If it is determined that the patient needs to come in for further evaluation or a procedure, or the nature of the visit is urgent, then we will then facilitate the scheduling of an in-person appointment.  We realize that not everyone would have the resources to participate in teledermatology visits, but we hope to make a difference in mitigating the spread of the virus with these first steps in telemedicine or telehealth services.

 

Author
Peter Chien, MD, PhD, FAAD, board certified dermatologist Peter Chien, MD, PhD, FAAD Dr. Peter Chien is a dermatologist board certified by the American Board of Dermatology.

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