Updated: Mar 14, 2020
You know that I hold all of you dearly, and many of you have asked what to expect, how to prepare for, and what might change due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. If I am to be honest, I’m not sure what to expect. As many of you have already read, the latest outbreak was in Montgomery County Maryland, so that means it’s already here. And as I am invested in seeing all of you stay healthy (and myself), please note a few things that will need to change how you are accustomed to seeing and doing things at Amazon Grove:
Updates about appointments:
Please do not come in if you are experiencing any upper respiratory infection symptoms including cough, runny nose, fever or chills, shortness of breath or any trouble breathing.
If you have traveled to any of the hotspots for COVID (Seattle, NYC, China, Italy, etc.), please delay your appointment until you are past the safe zone.
Please note that anyone who comes down with cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms who needs to cancel an appointment, I will be waiving your late cancellation fee. Please do still call, email or text me as soon as you are able to though. Other folks may be counting on that spot to be seen for other issues.
For those of you I see for regular seasonal allergies or asthma, please use your best judgement. If you are experiencing any elevated occurrence of what is *your* normal - specifically: more frequent asthma attacks, shortness of breath that worsens suddenly, or you have increased post nasal drip or runny nose, please contact me via email or phone to discuss whether to come in for your regular appointment or if you should schedule an appointment with your PCP. Please also contact me if you need help finding a PCP.
Please ask me how you can stock up on any regular herbal prescriptions if you want or need to limit your appointments. This ONLY goes for current herbal patients interested in staying on current formulas prescribed. I cannot give you a super strong treatment through needles that can last extra long - I wish it worked that way. Energy moved through needles usually only lasts 1-2 weeks (YMMV).
And speaking of supplies like herbs, etc. I have been in contact with my vendors who have assured me that the CDC advises that due to the low sustainability of the virus on surfaces that there is "a very low chance of transmission through supplies being shipped over a period of days or weeks at an ambient temperature." My vendors have also informed me that they have already sourced every material they can from local vendors wherever possible.
I am considering offering low-cost distance Reiki sessions for anyone for any reason. Please let me know if you are interested in having this service.
When you are in the office:
When you come into the office, please wash your hands. We are asking everyone to engage in this activity upon their arrival. Remember, to kill cold, flu and COVID-19, you must rub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, which is the same amount of time to recite the opening monologue of Star Trek, sing one complete rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” or the first verse of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.” You can read more about proper hand washing on the CDC website.
If you are unsure if you have a fever when you come in, we now have a sanitized thermometer for us to check.
Please use provided tissues for anything involving touching your face. This includes wiping or drying your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Please hang up your jackets, purses, backpacks, and other personal items on hooks provided in each treatment room.
If you need to cough, clear your throat, or sneeze in the lobby or the treatment room, please do so into a tissue or your elbow - do not cough or sneeze into your hand. If you come in and appear to be experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, I will be rescheduling your appointment. And giving you a face mask. And reminding you of this email I sent you.
Please use provided stylus and/or pens to sign all charts and receipts. You may feel free to bring your own.
Regularly wash your hands, and do your best to not touch your face.
Take off your outside shoes and clothes as soon as you get back inside - they can track in all sorts of bacteria and viruses.
Please DO NOT purchase and wear medical face masks unless you are currently ill - they will not protect you against COVID-19, and we are facing the kind of shortage that has already threatened the supply for doctors, hospitals and urgent care providers who actually need them for way more things than exposure to this virus.
Please do not go wild with applying essential oils to your body or burning them in your home. Many of the essential oils I've seen recommended have no evidence of specifically preventing COVID-19, and can cause your co-workers, fellow public transportation takers, family members and roommates with allergies, asthma and other upper respiratory conditions and scent-sensitivities to have severe health consequences. Essential oils can also poison your pets - so please, do not go for essential oils as a defense against COVID-19.
Be sure you have enough food, access to water, cleaning and paper supplies to last you a couple of days in the event we are told to shelter in place or you fall ill.
Have a preparedness plan in place for yourself, your family, your significant other, your roommates and anyone you share a living space with. Post the phone numbers of your emergency contacts including your PCP in an accessible place in your home.
Eat regularly, and well. Reduce your intake of processed and sugary foods, as they can suppress immune function. If you are having trouble getting access to nutrition, please contact me to find out about local resources.
Sleep as well as you can, manage your stress, and engage in plenty of Yin Time to properly rest your body. I cannot stress this enough! Sleep is when our bodies recover and repair - our immune systems depend on us having enough nutrition and sleep; and next to sleep, rest is the next best thing. Even if you have trouble sleeping, do make sure you are resting enough - that means no screens and no working from home. Simply being. Not doing.
Don't go wild taking random adaptogens and prophylactic herbs. If you are not paired with the right individual or set of adaptogens for your constitution you could be doing your body more harm than good (including actually increasing your risk of infection). This includes Jade Windscreen Powder, Oscillococcium, the "miracle mushrooms" (i.e., Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkeytail, and Chaga to name a few), Astragalus, Echinacea, Elderberry, and the ever-growing long list of other herbs said to give protective powers against infections. If you feel that you are at a greater risk because of an existing health condition and are interested in learning what herbs might benefit you, please schedule an herbal intake or talk to me during your regular herbal appointment and I will make recommendations based on your presentation and constitution.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or another upper respiratory infection, the CDC advises, “do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.” This has proven to be very effective in heavy hit areas in other countries - we are no different.
Please check out this video from Peter Deadman and his basic Qi Gong movements to help build the Lung (which is associated with immunity in Chinese Medicine).
Please help protect yourself and the other individuals who make up our Amazon Grove community safe and healthy this and every season by following these new guidelines. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to me anytime at email@example.com or at 410.705.0660. Thank you for all your help in ensuring we all have a safe office to heal in.
Statement on Xenophobia and Discrimination from the American Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:
There is no racial, ethnic or cultural basis for the emergence of COVID-19. Viruses mutate and emerge, and this virus is now sourced throughout the world. In the United States, Europe, and Australia members of the Asian Pacific Islander community, especially persons of Chinese descent, have been subjected to discrimination and exclusion. Fear and discrimination lead to bad health outcomes. Stigma makes people less likely to come forward, seek help, volunteer critical information and ask questions. Universal precautions dictate that there is no utility in assuming anyone is more or less infectious than anyone else and it is duty of the health care provider to put infection control procedures in place that apply to everyone. Unity, trust and compassion reduce stress and increase wellness, and are the only appropriate interpersonal response.