Evelyn on Weathering the Shelter-In-Place Order

If anyone out there has ever had what we call an “Idle Easy Card” with us you have received the email that invariably starts with “We miss you and we hope you’re doing well.”

That phrase just echoed through my mind, as the person who drafts those Easy Card reminder emails it floats up quite naturally when I think about writing to you all. But it has new and greater meaning now. So I will repeat myself:

We miss You.

And we hope you are doing well.

When we made the decision to close our doors during this crisis, just hours before the shelter in place ordinances came down from our county leaders, it was done with heavy hearts and with absolute belief that the best way we could be in service to our community at the time was to stop offering our services. But making those phone calls to cancel upcoming appointments, ooof, it was hard. We reeled thinking of all the people we would be letting down, of the isolation, anxiety, flare-ups of chronic pain and so much more that we wouldn’t be there to help with. The staggering realization that our driving instinct- to physically show up and help people- that led us to our rolls as CA punks, needed to be suppressed in service to a greater good. 

But I have made a point of looking for the gifts we may find amidst this roiling turmoil that we face. Things I hope to remember and hold onto when this is over. And even in those heartbreaking phone calls, I found some. I found a new feeling behind the phrases we typically say by rote when leaving a conversation: wishing someone a good day, to take care, or be well. I cannot think of another time that I have said those things so many times in a row, and meant them with the deepest sincerity every single time. Nor have I ever hoped so much that people could hear that sincerity and take it to heart. 

I have seen this phenomenon spiral out into the world, whether it is greeting neighbors (from a safe distance of course), friends on the phone, or the person in front of you in line at the store, I see and hear a genuine pleasure in the interaction and very real wish for others to take care and stay safe. 

Similarly, the sudden loss of my ability to provide care for you all crystalized how meaningful that ability is. Like anything that is done day in and out, we punks sometimes lose sense of the power of our work. Especially when we work with chronic issues (which we do a lot) the true impact of our work can get muddled in the new status quo we have helped facilitate. Realizing all the ground we stand to lose by this interruption in treatment helps bring to light the incredible impact of that day in and out activity. And while, if given the choice between carrying on in the muddle or this experience here, I would choose the muddle, I don’t have that choice.  So, I am acknowledging this little nugget of insight to help fuel inspiration in months and years to come. 

You should fully expect to see that inspiration lighting up our faces when we open our doors again, which Jeff and Whitney are working very hard to make sure will happen as soon as it is safe to do so. 

In the meantime, be kind to yourselves in thought and in deed. Allow yourselves some hours to wallow in fear and uncertainty, binge watch a TV series, read crime thrillers or romance novels, eat that extra handful of chips, scream into a pillow, cry over those sappy Verizon commercials (you know the ones I’m talking about), let yourself off the hook a little, you’ve got a lot going on, it’s OK. 

But also: eat nourishing meals, save the rest of those cookies for tomorrow, get some sunshine, brush your teeth and change your clothes. Notice the sky that is a little bluer without as much commuter smog and the birds that you can hear more clearly without as many cars rumbling around. Show gratitude to the person bagging your groceries. Call your friends and talk about your feelings, the weather and that funny video they sent you. Tell the people you love that you love them, and the ones you miss that you miss them. Donate a few bucks to the food bank, offer to help someone else if you can and ask for help if you need it (you’re not the only one). Look for the bright spots and write them down. Are they something you’ve thought about or felt before? If not, think about what you can learn from them, what they mean to you, and how you might carry that meaning into the future when all this is over. All these things can add up and trick us into feeling some things that we might feel are out of reach to us right now: connection, patience, hope. 

Temporary Closure begins Tuesday, March 17th

Featured

With heavy hearts we have made the decision to temporarily close our clinics beginning Tuesday, March 17th. We don’t take this decision lightly. We are closing because we take our mission to promote community health seriously. Evidence regarding COVID-19 shows that the best way to ensure that this epidemic threatens as few in our area as possible is to limit its spread through physical-distancing. As you all know, we are typically open 7 days a week. This is the only time we have closed our clinics for this long in over 12 years of operation. But, playing a role in helping to “flatten the curve” of COVID19/coronavirus is paramount at this time.

 

To be clear, we are not aware of any confirmed case of COVID19/coronavirus in our staff or patient community. We are doing this as a precaution and to follow public health advice to limit gatherings of people. We hope that our closing will be part of the momentum of people staying home to prevent a severe outbreak. If ours and others’ measures to encourage physical distancing are successful, we may never see COVID19 become as widespread and destructive as it is in other places.

 

In two weeks, we hope to be open, but we will be evaluating and assessing this situation as it continues. We thank you in advance for your support and patience, and look forward to seeing you when we open our doors again soon.

 

If you would like to support the clinic through this tough time, consider buying one of our pre-paid Easy Cards. For the next two weeks we will be selling these at the discount price of $65 for a 5 treatment card or $125 for a 10 treatment card. You can purchase these either through our paypal account or by mailing your check to:

Oakland Acupuncture Project

440 Santa Clara Ave.

Oakland, CA 94610

 

Your purchases of pre-paid treatment packages are going directly to keeping our expenses covered so that we can return to normal clinic operations as soon as possible once we re-open our doors.

 

We hope that you all will stay connected to your communities and support networks in whatever ways you can, from a distance, and that you will reach out to local resources if you need support. 

 

Warmly,

OAP Staff

 

Public Health Notice Regarding COVID-19

As we continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing to you today to share our efforts to address patient hygiene and respiratory etiquette in our clinics. Common sense and basic cold and flu season hygiene are the best resources at this point, so let’s all be vigilant about those practices. We aren’t trying to add stress or anxiety regarding COVID-19. However, we take the health of our patients and practitioners seriously and want to take proper precautions.

 

All our original policies on cold and flu hygiene are unchanged: If you have an uncontrollable cough or sneezing, sore throat, fever, or acute gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, please stay home until you have been asymptomatic and without fever over 100.4F for at least 48 hours

 

However, we are making a few adjustments to address current issues around COVID-19. It appears that, to date, the majority of cases involve mild illness. Please DO NOT come into the clinic if you or anyone in your household have any of the following sign and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you arrive at the clinic with any of these, you will be turned away. 

As the week unfolds, we are establishing several new protocols and procedures in an effort to address the spread of this virus.

  1. We have hand sanitizing units placed all around our clinics. Please use them.
  2. We are using disinfecting wipes to clean/disinfect tabletops, desks, door handles, etc. on a twice daily basis.
  3. Patients will not be permitted in the clinic if they have a fever or a fever mitigated by medication.  Additionally, if a patient shows signs of respiratory illness, that patient should stay home and will be asked to leave the clinic.
  4. Stay home if a family/household member is sick with the above symptoms, since COVID-19 may take 2 weeks from exposure to symptoms.
  5. Please be aware that we may have possible last minute closures if staff or their children have any signs or symptoms.

The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) web page.

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

 

  • Stay home when you are sick.

 

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands asap.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their primary healthcare provider immediately and before presenting to their healthcare provider’s office. Seek medical attention if you have difficulty breathing or cannot keep yourself hydrated. If you have an underlying health condition such as asthma, diabetes, or an immune dysfunction, contact your doctor sooner.  It is essential to follow your healthcare provider’s office protocol for being evaluated.