We write to you at a difficult time in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic, which is far more devastating and dangerous than the initial wave we faced back in March and April. More of our fellow countrymen and world citizens have been infected and rates of disease and death have set grim new records since the first wave. At times like these, it is easy to lose heart, panic, and feel that there is no hope. However, it is exactly at times like these, that we need to reach deep into our spiritual strength and support each other to pass through these incredibly difficult times. Let us chat about events at different levels occurring around us.
At the Office level, we are continuing to keep the office open and safe for you. AFP Health is working even harder to be easily accessible and available to our patients at such times of need. We continue to provide daily telehealth visits for all of our patients that have any type of ailment, especially any respiratory symptoms. This keeps both the patient as well as our staff safe from any unnecessary exposures. We also do not wish to have our patients suffer from “preventable” causes of disease and disability. Hence, we are continuing to encourage our patients to come in for their annual physicals and wellness exams, as well as making sure we continue our diagnostic testing for serious ailments like heart attacks and strokes. Our diagnostic ultrasound department and our nuclear stress testing modality continue to function even at these lockdown times as we have learned that preventing disease and mortality is only possible with early detection and intervention. So, please continue to have faith that we will strive to keep you safe and do not cancel your wellness or diagnostic appointments, as they are the cornerstone of preventing debilitating disease and premature death.
At the national level, the availability of vaccines is going to be a game changer. At this time, AFP Health does not have the vaccine available in our office, and we cannot get patients on a waitlist for early vaccination. However, in the meantime, it’s important to know what the vaccine can do. Without overwhelming you with too much detail, the first available Pfizer vaccine relies on getting your immune system “prepared” by exposing it to the signature protein made by the Covid-19 virus. The immune system is then armed and ready to deal with this “foreign protein.” Hence, when the real virus arrives and starts producing that same protein for its multiplication, the immune system attacks it quickly and wipes out the virus much faster than it would for an individual who has not been vaccinated. This reduces the intensity of the symptoms as well as decreases the probability that the disease will progress to respiratory collapse, pneumonia and need for intubation. There ARE side effects from the vaccine no doubt, but compared to the damages created by the disease, these outweigh the risk. We cannot stop the disease with the vaccine, but if we can significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality of the virus, we can deal with it without overwhelming the healthcare system.
Wishing you a very happy Holiday season and a very blessed New Year full of peace, joy and health.
Your AFP Health Team