Greetings to our patients and readers of Chapala Med’s Health Newsletter. I am aware that I write this newsletter to you during what is supposed to be the incremental stages of the pandemia as well as some difficult times not only for our community but for the entire world. Since I thought of publishing a monthly newsletter I have tried to put forth the most reliable and credible information that can find and will affect the community that I provide care for. During these trying times of the worldwide pandemic, I have noted that there have been multiple groups and pages on social media as well as the local web forums which “SHARE” an overwhelming amount information that just causes more confusion and stirs more fear and anxiety in the community. Until the end of February, the most common question I used to be asked by patients is when the new RMC hospital would be open but now sadly enough the most common question is that if I have had any patients or know of any cases in the community.
Since the last newsletter I published I was part of an informational webinar with two very credible physicians from Chicago. Together we shared information and ideas that we hoped would provide some clarity and answer questions that seemed to be on a great number of peoples minds. We were happy to note that there were quite a few participants from the state of Jalisco, particularly from the Lakeside area. It’s only been about 4-5 weeks later and more questions continue to pop up everyday. It has been humbling lesson to the entire medical community to accept how little we do know about the new COVID-19 virus, how it affects different populations of people, what are appropriate measures we should all be taking and what are the treatments, cures or the likelihood of a vaccine is?
One point that the majority of humanity seems to agree on is that this pandemic has changed our world far more than the great depression, WWII or 9/11 did. We will leave behind many previous social habits and evolve many new social norms. Some will embrace these changes while others will resist them. In the past 200 years it has been well documented that doctors changing their habits by simply washing their hands between treating patients significantly decreased the number of patients who died from an infection that was once know as Peripartum Fever. In 2015, these infections resulted in 17,900 deaths down from 34,000 deaths in 1990. In 1847, Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweiss decreased death from the disease in the First Obstetrical Clinic of Vienna from nearly twenty percent to two percent through the use of hand washing with calcium hypochlorite.
It’s going to be very different. A new normal is going to set in for all of us.
Up to this point, I’ve put away my suits in favor of scrubs during clinic, I wear masks when I’m out and about, and I’ve stayed home for the longest stretch of time in my medical career. I’ve taken up rotations on the inpatient service for the first time in two decades to brush up on ICU guidelines and embraced telemedicine as a routine part of outpatient care. Since the onset of the pandemic we screen all who walk into our clinic, including our staff, wear Personal Protective Equipment and will implement further measures to assure the health and safety of our patients and our staff.
I stated in my previous newsletter, I have refrained from publishing any information until I got it from reliable sources and have had some experiences treating patients who were suspicious of having contracted COVID-19. It’s becoming more and more difficult to vet “RELIABLE” sources regarding the pandemic. The numbers are changing on a daily basis. It was stated last month that the state of Jalisco would have peaked in it’s number of cases by now but that peak keeps getting pushed back by the government and academic experts every week. What adds to the confusion especially in our area is when there are cases such as local doctor publishes that she tested positive for COVID-19 and yet the official government websites have not reported this case.
Although the COVID-19 virus has taken the front page of almost everybody’s health concerns, let’s all not forget to take care of ourselves and be aware of the common infections and medical issues that have and will continue to affect the EXPAT community at Lakeside in this month like cardiovascular disease, salmonella infections and dengue during this time of year.
In closing I’d like to remind our readers of our (Chapala Med & Ribera Medical Center’s) MISSION STATEMENT so that you are all aware of what we are striving to accomplish everyday and hold us to this mission. Thank you for continued support.
Santiago R. Hernandez M.D.
Stroke: It Happens In An Instant
A stroke is an emergency – it can happen to anyone, at any time, and at any age. What happens when someone experiences a stroke and what occurs on the way to and at the hospital, is the focus of this year’s National Stroke Awareness Month video. Save a life by having a better understanding of stroke and by knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.
Having read through many social media and web forum posts and the debate fostered by “ONLINE” regarding testing, social and clinical approaches to suspicious cases. This article aptly summarizes why it is important to have a doctor who knows you and can provide you with reassurance or take the appropriate steps in providing you with recommended care with or without a positive COVID-19 test. Remember, it should be your doctor to take into account the validity and specificity for any clinical tests that are being used.
What face-mask is best for my use vs. protection against COVID-19?
As of April 18th, 2020 one of the measures that world governments have adopted to try to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, facing phase 3 of the pandemic, is the mandatory use of face masks. Jalisco has decided to adopt the same policies in the capital city of Guadalajara as well as the rest of the state.
The Council of Industrial Chambers of Jalisco (CCIJ) reported that the municipalities of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (ZMG) and the State Government will monitor the “mandatory” use of masks in customers of essential establishments, in order to allow them to enter. such as supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and convenience stores.
The measure, which even empowers municipal authorities to close those businesses that are lax in their surveillance, will begin on Monday, April 20, and also include users of public transport, so if you do not use masks you will not be allowed to use transportation services in the metro area of Guadalajara as well as most of the state.
Below is a like to a very informative web site with reliable information to help guide your use of a face-mask to not only be compliant with the law but to keep you safe depending our your environment, activity and level of human contact.
Having trouble interpreting all the data from so many posts, news reports and your research regarding COVID-19 infection and mortality risk factors? I found this video to be very helpful and it will alleviate much anxiety while dealing with all the wealth of information.
These two books I recently came across and are perfect for this time in history. Both are available on Amazon.com.
Dr. Murthy’s book confirms what I have always thought, loneliness impacts our health adversely and often can be worse than almost any disease.
“The book we need NOW to avoid a social recession, Murthy’s prescient message is about the importance of human connection, the hidden impact of loneliness on our health, and the social power of community.
Humans are social creatures: In this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health, but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.
But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.”
I believe every human should read this book. I have been blessed to have this book come into my life this past month.
Behavioral Therapy at Chapala Med
At Chapala Med we realize that these times of uncertainty and social disconnect can increase anxiety and depression. We have licensed bilingual therapists and a psychiatrist who can help. Our therapist Abner Grijalva has had a great deal of success with patients who have come to him for help and guidance during these times. Please contact our office for an appointment with him. We’re here to help you maintain your physical, mental and emotional health.
CHAPALA MED’S MISSION
The Healthcare providers & Staff at Chapala Med pledge
“We pledge to preserve our humility, integrity, and all the values which brought us to the practice of medicine. We will engage in honest self-reflection, striving for excellence but acknowledging our limitations, and caring for ourselves as we care for others. We will seek to heal the whole person, rather than merely treat disease, committing to a partnership with our patients that empowers them and demonstrates empathy and respect. We will cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always”