Today has been pretty emotional to be honest. I made the hard decision last night to close Flexible Physio for the foreseeable future and I did not sleep well afterwards. Yes it took a big weight off my shoulders in some sense. I now know that I am not putting my wonderful clients at risk, I also know that I won't stop wondering how they are getting on. Genuinely I look forward to seeing them, I have gotten to know them all so well.
I thought I should explain what the deciding factors were for me, as a healthcare professional, because I have put in as many measures as I could to minimise infection risk.
1. The number of cases has continued to rise, and the type of people getting severely ill seems to be changing. Its not only the older population, or those with pre-existing health conditions anymore. Don't get me wrong, its terrible that anyone dies from it but at least that demographic was easy to understand as "at risk/ vulnerable". But there are now young professionals, otherwise deemed fit and healthy who are very unwell. There are horror stories of parents being in ICU on ventilators days after watching their kids' final assembly.
This means we are all at risk now.
2. The CSP and NHS guidance was a bit unclear about who/what should be treated, basically it just said ideally treat everyone remotely, but if you can risk assess a face to face appointment go ahead. Now the guidelines say treat everyone remotely, and only urgent cases to have face to face care.
Its easy for any of us to think that being in pain makes physiotherapy 'urgent', because we help reduce pain. Or somebody struggling to walk having physiotherapy to improve this could be urgent. Fundamentally its about improving quality of life, but is it worth putting your life on the line for? My belief is NO. NO it is not that bad if you are in pain, yeah it sucks but today I say take some painkillers, have a bath, rest, keep doing your exercises. You don't need a massage, or mobilisation, or acupuncture , stay at home.
3. People aren't taking social distancing seriously enough. Minimising contact with everyone else means that a virus cannot be passed between individuals. This means you shouldn't be heading out to the shops or the park to see your friends.
Being outside doesn't mean you somehow get an anti-virus shield on you.
4. If you touch the swings, open a shop door, pick up 2 boxes of biscuits and then put one back on the shelf, you have opened yourself up to being in contact with Coronavirus. You've then taken it home. Unless you wash your hands, change your clothes and have a shower chances are you may have come into contact with it and let it stay in your home. That virus can survive for 72hours on most surfaces. Please be sensible, take every precaution you can to keep the outside world out, and your home environment safe.
I hope you are staying well and following the rules as much as possible. Because the quicker we do, the quicker we get control, and the quicker we go back to normal.
Take care all
Keeping you updated with what my thoughts are, infection control measures etc