The New Normal
Dr. D’s Medical Update
Our world in May of 2020 looks very similar to our world in April 2020. Both are drastically different than the world we had thought to be normal before March 2020. The measures we, as a state, county and city, took to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be working. The month began with easing of restrictions on stores, restaurants and churches. Some were able to begin their experience with the new normal. Other are waiting.
My family’s church, Community Bible Church, did the calculation and realized that having live services with current restrictions did not make sense. We would have needed 13 services a weekend with a deep cleaning of the entire church between services to accommodate our congregation. Clearly, that is not feasible. Therefore, the leadership of the church chose to continue to have online services. Some restaurants have made the same choice. They are continuing to offer to-go service and waiting for a more appropriate time to open.
For individuals, we are more free to go to shops, parks, and dine-in restaurants. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we should be out and about. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is still recommending that we use face coverings when around others. While the state of Texas is continuing to recommend the use of masks, there are no penalties for not wearing one. That said, San Antonio is still requiring them and some stores are also requiring them for entry. Workers in open establishments are also required to wear masks. Most of my patients are at higher risk due to chronic medical conditions. My recommendation is that they wear masks and be cautious when going out in public. Social distancing is still very important.
New since my last article, is that testing is more widely available in San Antonio. If you are concerned that you may have, or may have been exposed to, COVID-19, the recommendation is still to call your doctor for direction. If you don’t have a primary care physician, www.sanantonio.gov/covid19 has information that includes a screening tool and a way to request testing. The CDC has updated the symptom list since last month’s article. The two key symptoms are still cough and shortness of breath. Additionally, two of the following may also indicate infection with corona virus: fever, chills, shaking chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Please reach out to your doctor if you have these symptoms.
Take some time to think about how you and your family will interact with the world in our new normal. It can make all the difference to you and those around you.
Michael Dominguez, MD, FAAFP is board certified in Family Medicine. His office is located at HealthTexas Medical Group, 590 N. General McMullen, 78228, phone: 210-249-0212.