I’m biased. Let’s get that out of the way. As a healthcare professional, I understand the potential risks of the novel coronavirus. As a business owner, I understand the need for income. I know that there are millions of individuals all over the world that have been, are being, and will be affected by this pandemic. I understand that the complications of the virus are not only health-related, but also financially and economically related.
What I would love to say: This whole virus pandemic is one big hoax, a government conspiracy, and we all just need to get on with our lives.
What I am required to say: We need to follow the guidelines of the CDC and WHO.
Here’s my opinions, both personal and professional:
This COVID 19 virus is unlike anything we have seen before, and the implications of it reach almost every aspect of our lives. It is different. It is new. We want answers NOW. But it’s different… it’s new. We are going to have to wait for answers.
Have we over-reacted with the whole stay-at-home/shelter-in-place? I don’t know. What I do know, is that COVID 19 is an infectious disease. This means it is spread from person-to-person. I know that it has been firmly established by scientific literature (epidemiologists study these types of diseases, so they are the experts) that the virus is infectious up to 2 weeks before symptoms manifest. This means you could have, I could have it, and not even know it. IF I have it, and I go about my daily business, I risk spreading the disease to everyone I come in contact with. That’s a lot of people. In addition, if some of those people I come in contact with have the virus, even without symptoms, they could give it to me. Then I take it home, and give it to my family, and they, in-turn, have the opportunity to spread it to others over the next two weeks. Since the symptoms don’t manifest for so long, it is so easy for a disease like this to spread. However, if I limit my contact with other people, by staying home, I decrease the risk of spreading the disease, or getting the disease. And if everyone does this, they are also decreasing the risk of spreading and getting the disease. So, this method works.
The problem is, I need to work, you need to work, we depend on others working to keep our lives comfortable. I understand why people protest the stay-at-home order. I wanted to travel. I had the plane tickets and the hotels paid for, the whole trip was planned. I cancelled all of my plans. I could have been very selfish and kept my plans, putting my family, friends, colleagues, and clients at risk. I CHOSE not to. I don’t have to follow anyone’s advice. I don’t have to follow the “rules”. I choose to, because I respect others. I don’t want to put anyone at risk. But that’s just me. I did close my office. As a healthcare professional, my business is considered essential. I still closed my office, offering telemedicine instead. Does it hurt my finances? Sure. But to me, it’s not worth putting others at risk.
Many of my colleagues may consider closing my office as a dis-service to my clients. They say that chiropractic boosts the immune system and may prevent COVID 19. They may be right, but I don’t see enough high quality evidence to make those claims. There are some preliminary studies, but not enough. I can help my clients by giving nutrition advice, which may benefit them. Any healthy habits will help combat this virus, and other infections. But, I can do that via telemed without putting anyone at risk. I feel good about my decision because I have looked at the science, and I have tried to look past my own biases.
Again, these are only my personal thoughts. I think this post was more for me to clear my head than for anyone else. Thanks for reading.
Bradley Shepherd, DC
Bradley Shepherd, DC was born and raised in Utah. He graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in August 2008. He has practiced in Utah, Texas and New Mexico. He currently practices in Las Cruces, and occasionally in El Paso. He has experience with auto injury, pediatric treatment, sports injury and nutrition. He particularly enjoys the nutrition aspect of his practice, and practices telemedicine for all residents of New Mexico and Texas. When he is not practicing chiropractic or nutrition, you can find him playing his guitar. He plays with a local rock band. He lives in Las Cruces with his fiancee and his two children. He enjoys helping others with their health and wellness.