We provide multiple brief updates about the state of the Covid-19 pandemic, the vaccines, the treatments or lack thereof, how you isolate, and what the future holds. Stay the course. Keep your guard up. Get your flu shot. We are in this for a long time.
We will start our flu clinics on Tuesday, September 29. Clinics will be offered Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and some Friday mornings through the end of October, or even early November as needed, for everyone to get the flu vaccine. A signup calendar will be active on our website within a few days. Further instructions will follow as well.
We are beginning to leave quarantine. Covid-19 risks are much lower, but still present. We have to keep up our self protection appropriate to the risk, where greater intensity and duration of exposure increase risk. Use of handwashing, appropriate masks, social distancing, avoiding lingering in groups indoors, and home sanitization are all self-protection techniques. It is summer. Enjoy the outdoors, which is overwhelmingly safe.
The sinuses are hollow areas in the bones of the face. When the lining is infected, the extra mucus produced causes a stuffy nose, pain in the face and yellow or green discharge. Sinusitis is really common in winter. Most cases are viral.
Generic drugs are equally effective and safe as brand name pharmaceuticals. Prior authorization for expensive brand names is difficult to obtain and hard to justify. If a brand name is desired, the member will be asked to help provide the rationale for the approval process.
Hearing aids are essential devices for many older people, but often are not obtained because of the persistently high expense. I recently explored Costco as a source of high-technology major-brand hearing aids at dramatically lower prices.
Pap smears and HPV co-testing provide effective early detection of cervical cancer in women. Recent guidelines clarify that the frequency of such testing can be spaced out in most circumstances. Remember that Pap smears do not provide protection against uterine or ovarian cancer. Dr. George Papanicolau developed the test named after him.
Spring is here, the apples and peaches are getting ready to blossom. It is pruning time, an exhausting but exhilarating period when I recommune with nature and, indirectly, with my role as caregiver and healer to people in Orchard Health Care.
In the midst of the marches against gun violence, the Boston Globe special section pointed out the 78% of Americans don’t own guns, but 3% of Americans own over half of all guns. We do some arithmetic with those numbers.
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