**For the time being, I am not seeing new clients. I will update this as soon as that changes.**
Receiving Care in the Time of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. Please take a deep breath before reading this….
So many things with COVID-19 remain unclear, but there are some things that we now know: The effects of getting sick from this disease can differ wildly from person to person from some experiencing a mild sickness, or not knowing they are sick at all (asymptomatic), to others for whom this disease is fatal. We also know that many are still dealing with serious health issues weeks even months after having ‘recovered’ or having tested negative for the disease. This virus has created a new population of people referred to as “long haulers”. Visit Survivor Corps to learn more about the health issues this new population is facing.
While I have put much effort into reducing the risk of the transmission of COVID-19, I cannot completely eliminate it. According to the CDC, in addition to folks over the age of 65, the following groups are at an increased risk of severe illness from the virus:
Adults of any age with the following conditions:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies / other cardiovascular issues
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Overweight (BMI > 25kg / m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Sickle cell disease
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes
Please carefully evaluate your personal risk, based on the list above and understand that it is not recommended to come in for an appointment at this time if you are in a population with higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19. I do respect that we each are responsible to make our own decisions regarding our health care, but if you are in one of these populations and would still like to come in for care, please schedule a phone call so we can discuss this together. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out. Consider alternatively that there are ways I can help you provide self-care at home through a virtual session. Please do not assume that if you are not in an increased risk population you are not at risk. There are many cases documenting devastating outcomes for patients who didn’t fall under any of these categories. Also, there may be underlying conditions yet unknown. Please understand that we all are at some degree of risk.
For the safety of all of us, it is important you cancel your appointment if you have any of the following symptoms or have been in the following situations within 14 days of your appointment:
- fever over 100 F and/or chills
- respiratory issues (shortness of breath, coughing, pain in the chest, pressure in the chest, etc.)
- congestion or runny nose
- sore throat, cough (dry or productive), sneezing
- unexplained muscle or body aches
- gastro intestinal issues (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.)
- new loss and/or distorted sense of smell or taste
- any novel or unexplained symptoms
- traveled out of state / or on public transportation (including uber /taxis) in the past 14 days
- hosted anyone who does not live with you in the past 14 days
- spent time in a high risk scenario within the past 14 days (call to ask if you are unsure)
- been diagnosed with or exposed to someone who has COVID-19
My cancellation policy is not in effect during the pandemic so there will be no charge for a missed appointment as long as you let me know you will not be able to make your appointment. If you are in doubt whether you should come in or not, please err on the side of caution and reschedule your appointment. If you are a frontline worker (THANK YOU!!), unfortunately, I can only see you virtually at this time, but will be providing discounts for your sessions when I can see you again. I can also refer you to therapists who are specifically working with frontline workers right now.
Prepare Ahead for your Appointment:
- Paperwork: There is a Daily Screening Form you can find here. You must fill this out and return it to me within 24 hours of your appointment. You must also tell me if there have been any changes the day of our session. I personally must also pass this daily screening! The second form is an Informed Consent Form you will need to fill out one time before your first session during the pandemic.
- Practitioners and guests MUST wear masks (not face coverings) the entire time they are in the wellness center, including throughout sessions. See the guidelines here about how to choose and wear your mask. If you forget your mask or don’t have one that passes these guidelines, I will provide one for you to put on before entering the wellness center.
- The waiting room at the wellness center is closed at the moment. I will let you know via text / phone when it is your turn to come in for your session and will meet you at the door; if you don’t have a phone, I’ll meet you out front within 5 minutes previous to our scheduled time.
- Please come freshly showered to your appointment with clean clothes and do not stop by crowded places such as grocery stores, post offices, etc., before your appointment. I will also be wearing clean clothes for every session. Warm layers are a good idea as the window will be open to assist with ventilation. I will also have a hepa air purifier running throughout the day.
- I will greet you at the front door with a touchless thermometer to the forehead to capture your temperature. *** Note, this does not address a-symptomatic / pre-symptomatic possibilities, but it may capture active cases w/ fever. Your temperature, as well as mine, must be under 100 degrees F to receive a treatment.
- To reduce the amount of respiratory droplets in the treatment room, we will keep talking to a minimum. We will talk about how you are doing, what your goals are for the session, catch up about the past 7 months, etc., via phone / email / or a quick intake out on the porch before we go in. Of course during the session, necessary feedback is always welcome.
- At this time only 90 minute sessions and 60 minute ‘spot treatments’ are available.
- All cancellation fees will not be imposed at this time, but no-shows (not letting me know you are unable to make it) will still be charged the full price of the session as usual.
- There will be an additional $20 Covid fee added for each session to help cover the increased operating expenses and time required for each client during the pandemic (this does not apply to previously paid for sessions). Thank you for understanding. If this fee poses a hardship for you and would keep you from coming in for care, please let me know.
- When/ if effective and affordable rapid testing becomes available, that may become part of the protocol.
- COVID issues are changing daily, and these protocols may be amended to adapt to those changes.
Re-opening and Closing:
I will continue to be mindful of the county and nearby county metrics for case numbers and will open and close the studio when appropriate. This means your appointment may be canceled at short notice if the county parameters are not met. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Please know that the well-being of you, your family, and our community and collective communities is at the heart of all of these protocols. This disease is not something to take lightly, and for many the repercussions are grave and long lasting.
These are not uncomplicated times, and this outline mirrors that reality. Many of you will feel it is not time to come back for care – please know I completely respect, support and fully understand that decision! Please take another deep breath and know that all things are temporary, including global pandemics. I leave you here with words of wisdom from one of my favorite poet/farmers of all time:
The peace of wild things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry