I’m writing this about a month after the Movement Control Order (MCO) transitioned to a “Conditional” MCO and what a world we’re living in right now! Wearing a mask, regular surface sanitising and hand washing have almost become second nature in this new way of living. Who would’ve thought we’d be living like this if you told me about it 6 months ago. In fact, a time before this pandemic almost seems like a distant memory.
Honestly, I was personally counting down the days where we could reopen for operations as we didn’t get the opportunity to do so during the entire MCO period. Every other week I would closely watch the Prime Ministers’ address to see if our sector would be allowed to operate. Some of our Practice Members did ask why weren’t we allowed to open seeing as we were a healthcare provider and some other business owners in our industry decided for themselves that they were essential and remained open. However, I wanted to be responsible and not put any of my team members or our Practice Members in any risk even though it came at a high cost to us as a business.
We’re all just different boats stuck in the same storm and as long as we acknowledge and accept that, we can get through this pandemic together.
As our practice began to reopen our doors during the CMCO under strict guidelines by the Ministry of Health (MoH), I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Firstly, would people still be confident enough to step out of their homes in the midst of the pandemic and secondly, how would we be able to administer our treatments in a safe and effective manner without risking the health and safety of everyone. Well, it has been a month since and I can say that we’re just starting to get the hang of the strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) we’ve put in place and it’s beginning to become a habit.
From the initial temperature scanning upon entry, full personal protective equipment (PPE) gear to daily surface disinfecting at the practice, our team has been able to safely treat our Practice Members in a way that instills confidence while still addressing their individual aches and pains. Over the course of the month, individuals walking in to our practice have slowly begun to grow accustomed to the processes of scanning a QR code answering a few short questions for the purpose of contact tracing, seeing and getting treated by our team of practitioners in their full PPE gear.
I don’t know how the next month or week will look as we’re just taking it day by day. All I can say is that we’re in a transitionary phase, where we’re all in it together and most of us are beginning to adjust to this new way of living. I’ve been able to have open honest discussions with each of our team members, our Practice Members and even with our landlord! I’ve told the team, as much as they’re health practitioners providing chiro/physio services, essentially we’re in the people business. The conversations we have with our Practice Members during their time in our practice are just as important as the treatments itself. We’re all just different boats stuck in the same storm and as long as we acknowledge and accept that, we can get through this pandemic together.
It’s still early days. The economy hasn’t fully recovered, our Government is still sorting themselves out, our practice isn’t still at 80% capacity and there still isn’t a vaccine out yet. It will take time and we have to be patient. However, we mustn’t lose our humanity. Our team will remain steadfast to our calling as chiropractors and physiotherapists to ensure that we can still provide the best, experienced care and treatments in a safe and responsible manner in spite of the current pandemic we’re in. Hopefully, in our new normal, time spent at our practice would give our Practice Members a renewed hope and strength to continue to face the storm, regardless the nature of their complaint.
For those who are still not confident stepping into our practice, we fully respect that. We have offered telehealth/video consultations as an alternative to access our practitioners remotely. This new way of living and the operations that go with it will certainly take some getting used to. Just remember that WE ARE ALL in this TOGETHER and the only way forward is to embrace it and take each day one day at a time.