The headlines tell us that there is light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, with vaccine distribution beginning in the next few weeks. But it will be several months before the majority of the population can be vaccinated, so it is critical that we do all we can in the interim to reduce the spread of this deadly scourge.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Harris County has reported nearly 200,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Dec. 6, including 20,291 active cases. Since the onset of the pandemic nine months ago, Harris County has lost 3,067 people to the virus.[i]
The good news is that within the next week or so, 224,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be shipped to 109 Texas hospitals across 34 counties. This initial allotment will be dedicated to first-line health care workers.[ii] As more vaccines become available, the State will begin to vaccinate the public based on highest risk categories first, which includes the elderly and nursing home residents.
That means that for those without significant health risks, it may be spring before they can be immunized. So we must continue to press on with the established safety protocols that are in place, especially as we approach the holidays.
If you plan to gather, please:
- Wear a mask
- Stay 6 feet apart
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid gatherings with people outside your home
Expert Pain is committed to continuing to serve our patients and will continue to conduct as many appointments as possible via telemedicine or video calls. For those who must be seen by Dr. Skaribas at the office, we ask that you:
- Wear a mask during the appointment.
- Bring only one family member with you. Children under the age of 15 will not be allowed.
- Before coming to your appointment please take your temperature. If your temperature reads 100.4 or above do not come in. Instead, call to cancel or reschedule.
- If you have done any international travel or have been at an airport in the last two weeks please call the office before attending your appointment to reschedule.
We understand that chronic pain doesn’t take a break for a pandemic. In fact, the anxiety and stress of COVID may actually exacerbate your pain. So please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will determine the best way to see you and address your pain—safely and effectively.
Dr. Skaribas is recognized as a leader in the field of interventional pain medicine in Houston.