June 10, 2020
Hello Wise Patients! Hope you are all maintaining your distance still and masked up! We ask that you don’t get complacent or too comfortable at this time. Coronavirus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so please be cautious as we enter “Phase 1.5” in King County or Phase 2 for others around Washington State.
If I attended a protest, do I need to get tested for COVID-19?
Large gatherings including protests are likely to increase the spread of COVID-19.
If you attend a protest, please wear a face mask and maintain other first principles of social distancing. Even with a mask, using noise makers instead of chanting/shouting should help decrease the spread of COVID-19.
Though the City of Seattle is encouraging all protesters to be tested,King County Public Health (KCPH) and Washington State Department of Health (DOH) are not requesting all protesters to be tested, but rather recommending “a low threshold” for testing.
Our view lines up more with KCPH and the WA DOH. Here are the points we’d like to emphasize:
If you develop compatible symptoms within 14 days of the large gathering, you should get tested asap. Such symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, difficulty breathing, new muscle or body aches, substantial fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose,nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that you can’t readily account for by another condition (such as allergies).
If you do not develop new symptoms, you should still get tested if you were in close contact with people not who were not wearing a mask while protesting, you weren’t wearing a mask, you botched the don’t-touch-your face game, or you were near tear gas or pepper spray (since those are known to make people take off their mask and cough).
If you do not have new symptoms (ie, asymptomatic) and believe you meet the above criteria for testing, we recommend the test occur between 3 and 5 days following your participation in the large gathering. Test too early and fail to pick up infection. Test too late and risk spreading more to others. The problem is that that window will be different for different people. Therefore, know that a negative test does not fully exclude COVID-19.
If you are not sure whether you should be tested, just write or call us for advice.
We perform COVID-19 testing during business hours. Our turnaround times of late have been two overnights (not a bragging point). Free drive through testing locations are increasing around Seattle: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/care/testing/locations.aspx.
Impact of Local Politics
As we continue to follow the news about the protests against police brutality, there have been many discussions regarding the police system including defunding the police and reforming the police. We’ve been seeing a lot of different movements across the country and we thought we would take the time to briefly talk about what local Seattle politicians are calling for regarding police accountability during this time.
The mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan has called for several new policies including requiring police officers to turn on their body cameras, making badge numbers visible, and updating policies regarding use of force by police. Much of this will involve working alongside Carmen Best, the Chief of the Seattle Police Department. She also discussed investing $100 million dollars into community programs supporting Black residents and has been meeting with local organizations including Black Lives Matter Seattle- King County.
Multiple members of the Seattle City Council have also been in the news recently including Kshama Sawant, who represents the 3rd district of Seattle where our clinic is located. She recently introduced legislation banning the use of chemical weapons including tear gas. In addition to Sawant, council members Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena Gonzalea are calling to defund the police department and use the money to fund social programs. The City Council plans on revisiting the police budget which currently gives about $400 million to the police department.
Local politicians play the largest role in shaping policies and we hope we can encourage everyone to take some time to look into who represents their city and maybe even consider reaching out to them and letting your thoughts be known.
Time to Hit the Books
For me one of the best things about being part of Wise Patient is the community. I have loved getting to know so many unique, interesting and inspiring people. One of the things I have always done when joining a new community is join the book club. There has been the new moms book club, the neighborhood book club, the “Dr Mom” book club, the elementary school book club. I have been thinking for awhile about a Wise Patient book club. Oprah’s got one, Reese Witherspoon has one. Why not us? Books promote connection. They ground us. They open our minds and help us understand the world around us. Books have always been part of my journey to a better self. The current times especially seem to call for connection, grounding, stretching and understanding. I am going to share some memorable books from my recent reads and a couple from the WPIM team. I would love to hear from all of you about what you are reading and recommend. Then we’ll come up with a “Wise Patient Book of the Month”. Don’t worry, you won’t be quizzed at your next appointment ;).
Some recent memorable reads:
– An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
– The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
– Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
– The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
– Educated by Tara Westover
– A Field Guide for Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
– Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon
– The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
– The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
– Untamed by Glennon Doyle
– Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
– Know My Name by Chanel Miller
– Beartown and it’s sequel Us Against You by Fredrick Backman
– Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
– Black Light – short stories by Kimberly King Parsons
– Inheritance: a Memoir of Genealogy paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro.
– Becoming Nicole: the Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
What books are on your list?