It seems that many people are experiencing mixed emotions about the stay at home order being lifted in the next few weeks in Colorado and around the United States. This second phase, described here for CO, transitions us from the current “Safe at Home” to a “Safer at Home” order.
On one hand, we understand the psychological and financial ramifications that an ongoing stay at home order would cause. We all miss our friends, we miss our hobbies, and we desperately want to feel a sense of “normalcy” again. Being unable to work has been financially devastating for so many, while others have found themselves working full time with the added stress of home-schooling children. It goes without saying that this has been a trying time. Most of us are getting close to the end of our rope—and some may have reached it already!
However, on the other hand, we must ask the question: What has really changed that has led officials to feel comfortable lessening the restrictions? Is this simply too soon? Will we see a surge in new cases in a few weeks as a result? And if so, do we currently have access to increased testing and treatment?
These last six weeks have forced us to continually check-in with ourselves, as we’ve navigated several difficult decisions for our business, our employees, and our own family. Like all of you, we are faced with tremendous uncertainty and are often unable to get solid or accurate information to base our decisions upon.
We plan to continue working through telemedicine for the next few weeks at a minimum.
This will hopefully allow us to see and prepare for a rebound increase in COVID cases, if there is one. Telemedicine has been working incredibly well for our patients and clients. We know that if our staff can personally remain safe and well, we will be better able to serve your ongoing needs.
Because of the time sensitive nature, Mindful Pediatrics has been and will continue to see newborn babies in person at the office.
Those of you who are at greater risk for complications (newborns, elderly, those with cardiovascular or respiratory disease, immunosuppressed and chronic health conditions) should still remain extra cautious at this point. If you can, we recommend continuing to follow the stay at home order until we see what the ramifications of relaxed restrictions will be.
If you are allowed to go back to work, or plan to increase your exposure to public places, we suggest continuing to wear a mask and washing hands frequently (or using hand sanitizer if need be). Change your clothing and shower upon returning home. These are practices that Dr Roy does most days (especially in the winter) to protect himself and his family from infectious disease.
Many of you have reached out to find out what we recommend about your children resuming day care, attending summer camps, or traveling in the upcoming months. At this time, if you can, we recommend just sitting tight and observing. We are still in uncharted territory.
Because of the long incubation period of COVID-19 (the time before you come down with symptoms), it may take 2-3 weeks to see if the rate of infection will increase after physical separation is relaxed.
If you can hold off on making any of these decisions, we think that soon we will have much more information to base an intelligent decision upon.
While it is likely that the infection rate will increase with lifted restrictions, it is also possible that the virus has a natural life cycle (like that of the flu) which will contribute to slowing down the spread of infection on its own.
Although we hope that treatments may be available for COVID-19 soon, we want to remind you that you are not helpless in your attempt to protect yourself and your family from this virus. What we have seen, is that most people seem to weather the illness just fine without any major complications. As a matter of fact, many people never even know they have been infected.
Just like with any disease, the more resilient you are, the safer you are.
As always, we believe optimal resilience can be achieved by following some very basic foundational principles (Que the broken record 😊).
- Please see our first post about COVID-19 that outlines dietary and lifestyle approaches for prevention and treatment
- You can also browse the hundreds of articles and recipes that we have posted over the years
- And please contact us to schedule a pediatric or nutrition appointment if you feel that your immune system, your diet, or your overall health could use additional support
A major discussion between the two of us has been about the lessons we have learned from this pandemic so far. While we have certainly experienced some personal challenges throughout this time, there have also been some real gifts: an increase in quality time with family and a much-needed slower rhythm with less rushing around, more spaciousness, and less on our plates overall. This has allowed our nervous systems to settle some.
The uncertain nature of this time has also forced us to become more mindful, more present, to simplify and to ask: “What is most important for today?”
In our practices, Debbie has heard from clients who have almost felt guilty admitting that they have been enjoying these restrictions. It has allowed them to be more introverted, which is their natural tendency. People report that being home has allowed them to take better care of themselves. Some have fewer digestive symptoms, better and longer sleep, decreased anxiety and improved energy.
Dr. Roy has heard from several patients who normally suffer from extreme anxiety and depression that report their symptoms completely resolved now that they can honor their own natural rhythm and have experienced a decrease in both social and academic stressors. This has been particularly notable, given the dramatic increase in severe anxiety we have be seeing in our practices in the last several years.
We encourage you to take a moment and check-in with yourselves and your children. What have you observed? What have you learned about yourselves from this experience?
Before we simply jump back into our lives again, we encourage you to look at your life honestly and make decisions that might serve you better as you begin to move forward.
This is our personal plan for ourselves and our family—and our hope is that you can also learn, grow and take something positive away from this time as well.
Dr. Roy & Debbie Steinbock
April 27, 2020