Advocate Aurora Health: Don't forget your doctor's appointment
As both Wisconsin and Illinois reopen their economies, you might be clamoring for a meal at your favorite restaurant or an appointment at the salon.
I get it. The precautions needed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 are like nothing we've lived through before. We crave the fresh feeling that comes with a haircut, and people who provide the services that have been sidelined by the pandemic, and we want to do our part to support those businesses that are reopening.
But as Illinois opens up a little more and you leave your home in our new social distancing era, there's one appointment you shouldn't forget.
You need to call your doctor.
So much about maintaining good health is about early detection and management of ailments. Cancer is far more treatable if found before it spreads too far. If you don't manage chronic diseases like diabetes now, your health is going to suffer significantly later.
And time is critical to your survival when you have a heart attack or stroke. Numerous reports have revealed that fewer people are seeking treatment for these emergencies, and people are dying as a result. We're all looking a bit shaggy because of this pandemic, but your heart care is more urgent than your haircut.
I understand your worry about making that doctor appointment. You've done nothing but read about the dangers of COVID-19 for a few months now. It's with that in mind that Advocate Aurora Health has taken unprecedented steps to keep you safe in our doctor offices and hospitals. We call it our Safe Care Promise.
We're allowing people to check in for their appointments from their phones, helping to avoid contact with others when they arrive, and we're taking their temperature before they're allowed inside. Everyone who enters must wear a mask, a precaution that has been shown to slow the spread of the virus. Rearranged waiting areas and staggered appointment times mean it's easier to keep your distance from others, and we've enhanced our cleaning practices.
In some ways, it's never been safer to be in one of our care sites. Because of these precautions, you might not even encounter another patient at the doctor's office, and you can feel sure that we've done everything we can to keep you safe.
Our doctors, nurses and staff have risen to meet the historic challenge of taking care of you during the COVID-19 crisis, and they're ready to keep helping you with your basic health needs.
They're your friends and neighbors, living, working, shopping and getting haircuts in your communities just like you. There are no greater local experts on this virus.
So as our economies open back up and you put your trust in stores and restaurants to follow social distancing rules and keep you safe, you know you can trust your local experts to keep you safe.
They want to do their work to keep you healthy. And that work gets harder if you don't do your part.
It's time to call the doctor.
• Dr. Gary Stuck is Advocate Aurora Health's chief medical officer.