All quiet in the Urgent Care in my town. For now.
I went to the Urgent Care weekend facility near me yesterday for a non-coronavirus reason. I called ahead of time not knowing what protocol to follow. They advertise as a drop-in clinic but I didn’t know whether that was true anymore.
The asked me the screening questions on the phone related to coronavirus symptoms: No. They asked whether I’d known anyone from Biogen or associated with anyone from Biogen (a Boston conference several weeks ago that ultimately had someone who was the first “recorded” person who tested positive for the virus in Boston): No. Had I been out of the country: No.
Ok, she said. Come on down.
I went. There was only one other person in the entire waiting area. By the time I checked in, the waiting room was empty. I settled down to answer some emails.
“Pat”, my name was called within 2 minutes.
When I left 20 minutes later, the waiting room was still empty.
It was my first visit to this facility so I had no way to gauge whether this was an extremely slow day or whether folks who wanted urgent care had answered differently to the screening questions and had been referred elsewhere.
Then, I read this article in the “The New Yorker” about a Boston ER physician who is experiencing what he calls “waiting for the deluge”.
He reports that a normal eight-hour shift sees at least 40 patients and it is now 4-5. His connections with medical folks in New York suggested they experienced the same lull, likened to a Tsunami when all of a sudden the tide takes the water completely out before it then returns with its destructive wave. Now, he is receiving reports from his NY colleagues of what that coronavirus tsunami wave looks like. It is not pretty.
So, he waits.
And, thankfully, I got my minor normal urgent care issue straightened out by lovely folks who everyday go to work anticipating the tsunami and who when returning from work today and for days to come will, before entering their homes, peel off their outer clothes in the garage and take off their shoes before opening the door to greet their families.
I suspect if you see a bathrobe hanging in a garage today with slippers nearby, it is a home of a medical worker.