I’m reaching out to all of you today to let you know that CCCW is committed to continuing to care for your emotional and physical health during these unprecedented times.
I’ve never been through a global pandemic before. I’m guessing neither have you. From what I’ve been able to learn, the last time we experienced a virus like the one we are facing today with COVID-19 was back in 1918 with what was called the Spanish Flu. It was reported to have killed over 50 million people worldwide, but communities that practiced social distancing, fared much better than ones that did not.
So, in keeping with the CDC and world health organization recommendations and guidelines issued by Governor Pritzker we are also practicing social distancing by moving all session to remote sessions starting yesterday and continuing until at least March 30, 2020. This means that our offices are closed to the public until at least March 30th. But that does not mean that we are not here to support you.
Thankfully, health insurance companies, including our biggest payors, BCBS and Medicare are allowing tele-health services in an unprecedented way. Therefore, we feel very comfortable providing you with the same services that you have been receiving from us either by phone or zoom, which is a HIPAA compliant video chat platform. Of course, neuropsychological testing is an exception to this, and we expect those appointments to resume in April if it is safe to do so. Your provider either has or will be getting you all set up with what you need to contact her and continue with your regular sessions.
We all hold a responsibility in responding to this crisis. Staying home matters. If you love to nerd out on science like I do, then you will likely really enjoy this article from The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/?fbclid=IwAR1-N0pg1HeLooryZ1tBxPKAoBRtjJxWQ9Rp38shA2s3oDjF-Ehlr5h4_XQ
We’ve learned from other crises like this one that if we can “flatten the curve” then this can really protect our society. The ultimate risk is overwhelming our hospital system and ultimately too many people using ventilator machines all at once. Doctors in Italy are having to make terrible ethical decisions for those people who would normally get a ventilator, those in car accidents or having heart attacks because the ventilators are being used by people infected by COVID-19. It seems that most people will not need a ventilator, but many will. And because we have no immunity to this virus, if we all get it at once, the results can be devastating.
So, keep up the elbow bumps. Stay connected to your community virtually. Lean on us for support. Schedule additional sessions with your provider when you need, and please let me know if there are additional ways that we can support you over the next few weeks.
There is a lot of fear and panic out there, understandably so. If you’ve felt support by us, then please by all means spread the love because we are here to support your friends and family as well. If one of our providers is not the right fit for them, we will do our level best to find them the right support elsewhere. We are highly connected to the greater psychological community, and we are committed to promoting mental health all the time, and especially during these most challenging times.
As always, if you or someone you know may be at risk for self-harm or wishing you were dead, please do not hesitate to call 911.
Wishing you all a safe and happy St Patrick’s Day.
All the best,