Let’s focus on health

. Posted in Coronavirus

Dear Patient,

Buds are appearing on trees, lawns are turning green, and my dog is on the lookout for new puddles to roll in — sure signs that we can put the shovels and winter hats away.

It’s been a long 12 months, so in a departure from my usual email messages, my goal today is to avoid the words “COVID” and “pandemic.”

While ski season is my favorite time of year, spring brings growth and renewal, and that’s especially true in 2021. As more Mainers become fully vaccinated, I’m pleased to hear from patients that they’ve been able to see their grandchildren, parents, and siblings for the first time in months.

These stories offer hope that it’s time to shift our mindset and start looking forward to a more normal life. I’ve put away my scrubs and have returned to my traditional dress shirt and tie. There’s something grounding in simple routines, like tying a necktie. While we may be wearing masks for a bit longer, there are activities that we can safely do now.

We live in the most beautiful region in the nation, and I hope you’re making plans to enjoy all our state has to offer, whether you hike, bike, camp, or relax on your deck. Spending time in nature brings physical and emotional benefits, and I encourage you to do that as much as possible.

If you’re fully vaccinated, it’s safe to gather with others who have also completed their immunization (2 weeks after your second Moderna or Pfizer shot, or 2 weeks after a Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

It’s also time to reinvigorate our focus on health. You may have delayed a mammogram, annual physical, or other preventive care. Please don’t put off these important appointments, particularly if you have a medical condition that requires monitoring, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. While we should continue to follow all CDC precautions, spring is the perfect time to embark on the journey that ultimately brings us back to normalcy.

Finally, and despite my best efforts, I must use the word COVID in this message. Effective today, our COVID Vaccine Clinic now accommodates a limited number of walk-in appointments. Walk-in hours are 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Monday – Friday. First come, first served. If you haven’t received a vaccine, please consider rolling up your sleeve for this important protection.

Stay safe and well.

Dan Loiselle, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and the entire InterMed Care Team