Since our last MAFP newsletter in April, the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts has ballooned from 5000 cases and 48 deaths, to over 53,000 confirmed cases and over 2,700 deaths. We hold claim to being the state with the third highest number of confirmed cases in the country, after New York and New Jersey, and our positive rate is still around 23%.
Currently we hover on the plateau of our surge, thankfully maintaining hospital and resource capacity, and waiting for more accurate testing and effective treatments to emerge so we can begin to relax the distancing guidelines and reopen our economy. Be sure to keep updated with our state situation here.
After over a month of clinical, emotional, and economic strain, we see our patients, our colleagues, and our healthcare systems wearing thin. Our own Massachusetts family physician, MaryAnn Dakkak, MD, wrote this powerful AAFP blog about her experience during this pandemic. Her account reminds us why, no matter how high-tech and data-driven medicine becomes, we will always need people to care for other people, and why a family physician’s scope of practice is vital.
As your academy it is our responsibility to help you weather this storm, by providing valuable advocacy and resource information, such as the AAFP Respond to COVID-19 page where you will find telehealth tools, coronavirus CME opportunities, and a weekly Virtual Town Hall with AAFP leadership. The page offers everything from advice on how to navigate your PPP loan to brushing up on ventilator management, and a wonderful two page AAFP Executive Summary of the key provisions from the CARES Act affecting family physicians.
Locally in Massachusetts we want to thank all of you who participated in our Speak Out campaign to pass SB2630, An Act to Provide Liability Protections to Healthcare Workers and Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Your advocacy with us matters!
Thank you for your participation in our MassAFP Member Survey on COVID Practices to help us keep a finger on the pulse of our members during this crisis. Plans are in the works to reschedule our postponed Spring Refresher, at which time we hope to nurture your practice of self-care and coping strategies, as we all navigate together through the chaos of COVID-19.
Be safe and stay well,
Michele C. Parker, MD, FAAFP