Date Posted

Michael E. Makover, MD, Chief Medical Officer

This pandemic has hit everyone in the world very hard. Unfortunately, America leads the world in the worst way.

Many Americans who have tried to deny the crisis and have not complied with the sensible guidelines have paid a very high price. For instance, in San Antonio, Texas, the chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital told reporters that a 30-year-old patient who thought the coronavirus was a hoax died after attending a so-called “COVID party.”

Please rest assured that the Joint Industry Board and JIB Medical take this virus very seriously. We do everything we can to keep our functions going as much as possible while following every scientific guideline. We depend on the most reliable information sources to keep all who use JIB Medical and those who work here as safe as possible.

JIB Medical is reopening slowly and very carefully, beginning with adult primary care visits in limited numbers and according to greatest need. We will add more services as soon as we can, but only in the safest way possible.

Please remember that the JIB Medical LightenUp! weight-control program is still active online and by virtual visits with the weight specialist physician. Some of the program’s success stories were featured in the January 2020 Union World, now available online on the Local 3 website.

JIB Medical can also give needed adult immunizations and do limited laboratory work. Flu shots should be available soon, if all remains well.

Science has learned more about the virus in the last six months, but much more remains to be known. There is also a huge amount of misinformation at all levels.

It is crystal clear that you should be extremely careful and follow all the guidelines very strictly – for your own safety, for your loved ones and for your community.

You might be sick of the restrictions, but they are certainly not as bad as getting this virus; not as bad as realizing you passed it on to other people, like loved ones and friends; not as bad as being alone in a hospital not knowing if you will survive and what permanent damage will limit you thereafter; not as bad as dying.

The safety precautions are easy to find in reputable media and from the CDC and state health departments.

Your freedom from the virus depends mostly on you. You are much less likely to catch coronavirus if you take the simple but effective steps that are advised. They include:

  • Wear a mask at all times you are near other people (except at home only if everyone else there has not been exposed).
  • Keep as much distance from others as possible.
    • The virus travels on microscopic particles (called aerosols) that can last longer and travel farther than the virus on larger droplets. Six feet is just a practical guideline, but even farther away is better.
  • Be very careful of surfaces others might have touched. Wear gloves where practical.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after touching anything that someone else might have touched.
  • Clean all surfaces from outside your home, including mail, delivered food containers and packages.
  • Try very hard to not touch any part of your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid all crowds.
  • Shouting, speaking loudly, singing, heavy exercise, coughing, sneezing and other activities that cause stronger breaths out spread the virus even further.
  • Be even more careful in enclosed spaces, where the virus can linger even longer and be more contagious.
  • Visit people by remote programs such as Zoom and the like or by telephone, not in person.

This virus will be with us for a long time, probably well into 2021. It will be compounded by seasonal flu as well. At least the protective methods you take for coronavirus should also help reduce your risk of getting influenza and even the common cold, but a flu shot is still vital.

Everyone should get a flu shot to reduce the flu virus from making the COVID-19 pandemic even worse.

This has been a very difficult time for everyone. The virus does not care who, what or how old you are.

If we all work together, we can get through this and forge an even better future.