We’ve all heard about the recent increased spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) and the increase in hospitalizations in Texas and the Houston area. The information can be overwhelming in terms of what to do and not do.
As more activities and businesses are resuming, my patients have asked me many questions about whether it’s safe to start participating in various activities. Is it safe to fly? Is it safe to get a haircut? What about attending a family gathering, graduation, or wedding? Eating at a restaurant? Heading back to the gym?
I want to share with you how I have advised my patients. My hope is to offer simple guidance for you to be able to weigh your own personal risks. There are no absolute right or wrong answers. You must weigh the risks vs. the benefits of participating in any activities and make your decision taking into account your individual risk factors.
While staying home is the safest activity, we know that isn’t always feasible. I advise patients to think about these general precautions and guidelines when considering any activity.
Weighing the Risk
After you assess the risks above, the next step is to ask yourself, “Is the activity I am about to engage in worth the risk?” For example, flying to attend the birth of a grandchild vs. flying for a vacation or going to an outdoor picnic with a few friends vs. joining the same friends at a crowded indoor bar. Hopefully, these guidelines will help you make the best personal decision.
While none of these steps individually are completely foolproof, taking several, or all, of these preventive measures can help reduce your risks of contracting the virus!
Getting Medical Care
On the medical side, some questions you may have are: “Is it safe to come to the clinic?” “Is it safe for me to have surgery or some other procedure?” At Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, your safety is our top priority. Our physicians and staff will wear masks to protect you. We are cleaning all equipment and rooms at an increased frequency between use.
We screen our staff and visitors before entering the building, and we observe social distancing. Our pharmacies will mail your prescription to your home, and we will provide you the option of a Virtual Visit or in-person visit. Physicians and staff in our outpatient Ambulatory Surgery Center and Cancer Center undergo COVID-19 testing on a regular basis. We are continuously monitoring CDC guidelines to help ensure we are adhering to the most current safety recommendations.
We ask for your patience and your cooperation to help us keep you safe by calling ahead for appointments and keeping your mask covering your nose and mouth during your entire visit.
Scientists and researchers are learning and collaborating on new treatments and vaccines, around the world and here in Houston! Our physicians in the hospitals and ICUs are already applying new knowledge when treating patients. It’s only a matter of time until this pandemic will be over. Until then, let's keep up with these precautions and stay safe.
I’m confident that if we all do our part, we’ll find the right balance while resuming daily activities and social gatherings in person.
The entire Kelsey-Seybold family wishes you a safe and happy summer.
-Tony Lin, M.D.
Chairman and CEO, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic