Office Policies

We require masks, regardless of vaccination status. We schedule by appointment only and ask that if you want a same day appointment you call, rather than simply walk in. Thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Why We Ask You to Wear a Mask

I get it, it’s annoying. Believe me, I know. I put one on and take it off many times a ­­day. There are times when it’s on for a long time, sometimes it’s on for less. I’m frustrated by the fact that there are some patients who I don’t even recognize without a mask, because they sought care from me after this whole pandemic started, and I’ve never seen them without a mask on. But still we require masks.

I’ve lost patients over that policy; good people for whom that one request was more than they could bear. I am saddened to lose the opportunity to care for someone over what feels to them like something unkind, unfair and possibly even unrealistic. I take the responsibility to care for my patients seriously, and when someone walks away unhappy from my office, I carry that with me for longer than you can imagine. But still, we require masks.

During the ‘quiet period’ in 2020 where it seemed we were over the worst of the infections, we still required masks when other people had relaxed their policies, and some questioned us for that decision. I told them that I was following the lead of the local hospitals, and that I would relax the mask requirement when St. Luke’s or St. Al’s did. Some people thought I was nuts, yet history suggests that I’m not. But still, we required masks.

So let me tell you why I’m willing to live with people thinking I’m stupid, or unfair, and why I’m even willing to lose business over this, because it’s something that means a lot to me.

I’m in close personal contact with people day in, day out. There’s no way for me to practice my profession without being hands on, person to person. Even though I’m vaccinated, I could still contract, and spread this virus. I treat patients who are older. I treat patients who have health problems. I treat patients who are immune-compromised as a result of health conditions or medications.

And I owe them my very best to try to not contract, and not spread, this virus.

Because the idea that I could unknowingly infect a patient keeps me up at night. When this all started, I was wearing two masks, and spraying so much Lysol on the tables that I went home every night with a sore throat, and eyes that were irritated and painful. I was doing what seemed to be the best things I could do to minimize the risk given what we knew at the time.

And I would do that all again in a heartbeat if the prevailing opinions called for it.

I do what I do because people matter to me. The Hippocratic Oath is to do no harm, and that includes trying not to catch or spread a virus that might inconvenience most, but has also killed others.

So if wearing a mask is frustrating, I’m right there with you, but I’m going to continue to ask, because I believe it’s something we can do to help ourselves and others.

We’ve lost patients and friends to this virus, and the safety of my patients means more to me that I can explain. So we will keep asking for masks until this is over.

I hope you can understand why.