Can You Still Go to the Doctor During a Pandemic?

Can You Still Go to the Doctor During a Pandemic?
Contributor: Joel Kahn

You may be nervous to enter a doctor’s office right now. If you aren’t even supposed to be in a restaurant or classroom, how can you go to an enclosed space with other sick people?

Luckily, if there’s one thing doctors know a bit about, it’s diseases. So we asked Dr. Marc Eisenberg and Dr. Chris Kelly, authors of Am I Dying?!, about how we can expect to get non-COVID-19 related healthcare during this time.

First, they say to consider a tele-visit. Many doctors and insurance companies are offering these services — where you can video chat with your physician — to keep you from travelling into the office. If you think this is confusing or difficult, I would like to let you all know that my 98-year-old grandmother has been successfully tele-visiting her cardiologist for three months now, and she doesn’t really understand how I work at a website.

If you do go into the office, you should make sure everyone in there is wearing masks and gloves. Ideally, they should make sure that you are wearing your mask correctly, too, and the waiting room should be nearly empty (or at least very spread out between waiting patients).

The most important thing to remember, however, is that you do not want to put off possibly severe symptoms because you are afraid of being around other people in a doctor’s office. Chronic chest or head pain, loss of mobility, or constant dizziness could all indicate serious medical issues, and you should get them checked out right away — don’t wait until this pandemic is over.

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