If you are feeling sad, you are not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a common condition with a specific seasonal pattern. With less sunshine in fall and winter, many succumb and find themselves depressed. Thankfully, there are some effective ways to cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Good News – a safe, effective vaccine (probably Pfizer’s) is on the way to NC. Although it needs to be officially approved, we at Davidson Family Medicine are excited about the vaccine and would recommend it to our patients and our own families – based on what we know at this time.
However… only 85,000 doses are in the first shipment to NC. These vaccines will probably go to: 1) Atrium (and possibly Novant) hospital systems to inoculate hospital/health care workers dealing directly with SARS-CoV-2 ; and 2) Long term care residents/workers to be inoculated by CVS/Walgreens contractors who will travel to those facilities.
Davidson Family Medicine has been advocating to obtain the vaccine to help inoculate our patients. We will be able to order the vaccine beginning Thursday, December 10. We do not know how many vaccines will be shipped and do not know when they will arrive.
We anticipate vaccinating our most vulnerable patients with the first round of vaccines that we receive.
Questions we have been asked:
- “Is there a waiting list for the vaccine?” No.
When we receive the vaccine, we will post further information on our website, Facebook, and send out emails (with some phone messages) to existing patients. At that time, we will provide details on what type of patient should first receive the limited number of vaccines that we have on hand. As more vaccines are received, we of course want all of our patients who wish to be vaccinated to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.
- “If I have already had SARS-CoV-2, do I need a vaccine? If I have tested positive for antibodies, do I need the vaccine?” Yes, the vaccine will help boost your antibodies further because naturally acquired antibodies can decrease over time.
We have seen about a 12% positivity with our testing recently. We are continuing our testing of existing patients, especially those with symptoms or who have been exposed. We will try to help you with testing around any holiday travel. If flying, we recommend testing 1-2 days prior to travel and 4-5 days after travel (with quarantining in between if at all possible).
Please continue to be vigilant, wearing your masks when around others, and avoid indoor gatherings including indoor dining.
Like you, we are ready for this pandemic to come to an end! We have been amazed at the resilience and patience of all of you. We thank you for the trust that you have placed in us.
Davidson Family Medicine
We all do it. We watch others do it all the time. Our mom used to tell us to stop doing it.
That nasty habit of rubbing our eyes, or touching our nose and mouth is now more than just annoying. Even the CDC is telling us to stop. How many times have you just touched your face reading this far? It could be boredom or a nervous habit, but let’s look at some ways to break the habit of touching your face.
We are in the midst of a pandemic and there is no doubt COVID-19 has everyone on edge and fearful for themselves and their loved ones. Economic worries, health concerns, and not knowing when it will end can all add up to emotional distress. Mental health and COVID-19 can be as problematic as the disease itself. Continue reading “Your Mental Health And COVID-19”
No need to go anywhere else. Accurate, reliable, and available when you need it.
Davidson Family Medicine now has ample reliable and trustworthy Covid-19 testing capability through our national lab partner Quest Diagnostics.
If there is a need for you or your family to test for infection with or without symptoms, we can do that (safely) here in the office with results in 3-7 days. There is no need to travel to an unknown CVS, urgent care clinic, or hospital lab center for these tests.
The Quest PCR test, which is performed through a naso-pharyngeal specimen, is extremely sensitive and specific. It is more accurate and should not be confused with the “Abbott PCR rapid test” that is being performed elsewhere. CVS has given no details about who is performing their tests, the reliability of their tests, and results are not rapid. Click here for the details of the Quest test.
Examples of testing situations:
- An employer is requiring testing for work re-entry.
- You or a family member develops symptoms of Covid-19.
- If there is a need to test before visiting relatives or friends to confirm lack of disease.
- We continue to offer the IgG antibody blood (serology) tests to determine if a person has had active infection in the past.
Please contact us with any concerns or questions.
Antibody testing is now available at our office– should you get it?
The antibody (a serologic blood) test may show whether you have been infected with Covid-19 and suggests some level of immunity.
Along with our laboratory partner Quest Diagnostics, Davidson Family Medicine is now offering this Covid-19 Antibody testing through a venipuncture draw performed safely inside our office or outdoors.
Who might consider antibody testing? Most people do not need antibody testing at this time. People who might consider this testing include 1) healthcare workers and 2) those who think they may have had Covid-19 or its symptoms 3 or more weeks ago.
These tests are not intended for diagnosis of Covid-19. That would be done through a nasopharyngeal swab (and is called a molecular or PCR antigen test.) For anyone with suspected Covid-19, please contact our office so that we can perform a virtual visit and facilitate this testing through Atrium or Novant.
If you feel that ANTIBODY testing would be helpful, please call our office to schedule the venipuncture followed 3- 7 days later with a 10-15 minute virtual or telephone visit for your provider to explain the results. This follow-up visit will be billed to your insurer and should be covered 100%. During this follow-up visit, your provider will provide recommendations based on your individual history and other medical problems.
A note about the test: These particular Quest antibody tests are authorized by the FDA under the CDC Emergency Use Authorization. These tests should not be confused with other tests that may be offered elsewhere that are not FDA authorized under the EUA. We have extreme confidence in the validity of the results or we would not be providing them at this time.
Details : Quest uses one of 2 tests: 1) the Abbott IgG test with 100% sensitivity and 99% specificity (page 6 in the product package insert), and 2) the Euroimmune IgG test with 98.5% sensitivity (top of page 9 in PI) and 99 % specificity (page 9 in package insert).
In other words, a negative test when performed after 2-3 weeks of symptom onset accurately assesses whether a patient has had a previous Covid-19 infection. A positive test means that the patient has had the infection. There may be some immunity, for how long we do not know at this time. Each individual case is different, and part of the follow-up virtual/phone visit is to review the results to give you and your family guidance based on your history of symptoms, underlying medical condition (if any), and guidance going forward.
There is no simple “negative” or “positive” for these tests. One thing is certain, regardless of the result, social distancing, wearing a mask in public, and protecting the immunocompromised among us should be continued.
We are happy to help during this time. Please feel free to call us with questions.
Now accepting appointments for well child checks and adult preventive care
For the past month, we’ve adapted to the new world of virtual visits. We will continue this. However, many patients understandably have delayed needed preventive care. We realize that virtual visits cannot meet everyone’s needs. There are certain medical visits that should be done in person.
Following the cautious advice of our medical societies, beginning Monday, May 4th , we will be inviting you back into our office! We have missed seeing you! We will be providing in-office well child checks and some adult preventive care. At these visits, we will perform necessary overdue examinations and update immunizations to prevent childhood diseases.
Rest assured, we have been planning this for weeks, and our top priority is to keep you and our staff safe. Our office will seem different. You will not be in a reception area. We will all be wearing masks, gloves, and keeping appropriate distance. All staff will be prescreened for optimal health each day. After each visit, our facilities will have enhanced disinfection processes. Our entire second floor is dedicated only to well care. Some healthcare delivery may even be performed in your personal vehicle
if requested and feasible.
We ask only that you bring with you a cloth or surgical mask if possible. And if you are immunocompromised, please let the receptionist know. These types of exams may not be appropriate, and we can help you decide.
So, give us a call today and let’s get going with that well child exam. Let’s listen to your heart, your lungs, examine your abdomen and check your pulse, and give your skin a close look. Let’s do that yearly cancer screening. And give that overdue vaccine. And let’s do it with the utmost safety in mind. We are here ready to serve!
April 2 Update:
VIRTUAL VISITS ARE HERE!
We are continuing to provide TELEPHONE VISITS for most patient issues. However, we now have the capability of VIRTUAL VIDEO VISITS where we have the ability of seeing you (and you seeing us!) which is essential for assessing urgent care issues such as skin rashes, cuts, injuries, shortness of breath, even sore throats – literally any issue that you would like us to SEE from the comfort of your home. When you are scheduling your appointment, please let the receptionist know which of these visits you would prefer, and we’ll get it set up for you!
Virtual video visits are super easy! At your appointment time you will receive a text link to your phone or computer from Davidson Family Medicine. You will simply click on the link after receiving it, and your virtual visit will begin.
We continue to see some patients for OFFICE VISITS – more serious situations where a traditional visit is essential. For example, if we need to listen to your breathing, listen to your heart, look in your ears, or examine your abdomen. We would prefer to see you here in our office than have you go to an unfamiliar and potentially unsanitary Urgent Care, ER, or Minute Clinic. We have established one entire floor of our building to these NON-RESPIRATORY issues. We sanitize each room after each visit and wear personal protective equipment to protect you from any exposure (even from us!).
For patients with RESPIRATORY issues (cough, sinus, allergy, runny nose), we would prefer to perform a telephone or virtual visit. But if you would like to be examined, or if we feel that you need to be examined, we will arrange an office visit in another area of our building. You have the option of an “outside visit” or indoor visit. In some cases, we have been able to perform a visit from the comfort of your personal vehicle. At this time, according to the latest CDC guidelines, we are not testing for Covid-19 but can facilitate testing if we feel it meets the latest CDC criteria. Please call for details.
Our lab and Xray departments remain open. We encourage everyone not to delay necessary medical follow-up testing for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Again, we clean and sanitize each room and use PPE to protect you. In most cases, we can even come out to your personal vehicle!
We do recommend well checks for babies under age 2 when vaccines are given. Please do not delay these visits. Please call for details.
We have been hearing reports of some community members not being able to reach their physicians during this time. We have made allowances in our schedules to accommodate some new patients. Please feel free to pass along our contact information to any friends or neighbors who may be in need of medical assistance at this time, and we will be happy to assist.
On a personal note, we hope that you are faring well (if not, please let us know). We will all remember these times and hopefully look back with wonder at how we managed and rose to the challenge. We are proud of our patients and their resilience under these circumstances. We are getting very appropriate calls with legitimate health concerns. Please feel reassured that we are there for your healthcare needs both now and in the future.
March 19, 2020
IMPORTANT – LATEST UPDATE FROM DAVIDSON FAMILY MEDICINE – YOUR MEDICAL HOME
During this time of uncertainty, the clinicians at Davidson Family Medicine will strive to be your main point of contact regarding your health concerns.
We are updated daily and in close communication with the Mecklenburg County Health Department, NC Public Health Department, and the CDC.
IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER DEVELOPS RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS:
(For example cough, runny nose, sinus symptoms, low grade fever), current guidelines are to remain home if symptoms are mild. If you are uncertain or immunocompromised, please call our office first so that we may provide guidance. We can conduct telephone visits if preferred (see below). For those who do have respiratory symptoms and need to be seen (temperature over 100.4 AND cough/shortness of breath), we have a designated separate entrance and exam area and a single provider for that day to see these patients. We will provide detailed instructions when you make your appointment.
We do have limited capability of testing for COVID-19, but also very limited supplies of personal protective equipment. Therefore, we will strictly follow the CDC guidelines for testing: Fever AND respiratory symptoms (for example cough/shortness of breath) AND a negative flu test (administered in our office). Not every individual with respiratory symptoms will be tested. We will determine that at your visit. Individuals without symptoms will NOT be tested at this time.
IF YOU HAVE A REGULARLY SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT, LAB TEST, OR DIAGNOSTIC TEST:
We are prepared to see you. Please be assured that we have an elaborate system to separate any potentially ill patients from well patients – separate lobbies, exam rooms, and check out areas that have never been exposed to a symptomatic patient. Your provider for that day will only be seeing “well visits.” There will be no wait time in the lobby as we can call you while you are in your car or enjoying the great outdoors outside of our office. We are taking every precaution to protect our staff members and our patients from illness.
IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO HAVE A TELEPHONE VISIT WITH YOUR PROVIDER:
Many of you understandably would prefer not to visit our office during this time. Perhaps you need prescriptions refilled or lab work reviewed. Perhaps you or a family member is understandably feeling depressed or anxious. For that reason, we have instituted telephone visits with the potential for Facetime (at the discretion of the provider). Most insurance companies (including BCBSNC, UHC, and Medicare) are covering most if not all of the costs of these visits. We encourage you to contact us to initiate these visits. (In the very near future we will be able to provide virtual visits through our patient portal.)
We are updating Facebook and our website daily. For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. For general questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
During this time, please remember that we can and will get through this together! It is our honor and privilege to be involved in your healthcare.
Your Health Care Team at Davidson Family Medicine