I have a doctor’s appointment today?

I was scheduled to get a routine physical a while back, cancelled for obvious reasons, and last week Stevens County Medical Center called me to come in for it today, which feels odd. I guess our local clinic has not been overwhelmed — there have been zero reported cases of COVID-19 in Stevens County, perhaps because the closure of the university meant we had a net outflow of residents as the pandemic hit — but I’m a little nervous about visiting a place that could be a disease vector.

Also, I was called in on this specific day because it is “reserved for senior citizens”. What? But I’m a young buckaroo! Oh, well. I guess they’re just doing what they must to separate susceptible populations, so I’m not going to complain. I’m also thrilled at the possibility I might actually talk to a human being face-to-face, something I haven’t done in a month and a half.


  1. cartomancer says

    Remember, said human face is the very image of god himself! (Well, unless it’s a woman, I’m guessing that’s how it’s supposed to work).

  2. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin points out that collecting all the subjects for the next series of experiments in one place is much cheaper, and generally easier, than individually beaming them aboard, particularly if the planet-bound collection point can sedate the entire shipment.

  3. christoph says

    I was just as surprised as you when Dunkin Donuts started routinely giving me a senior discount. I don’t look old in the mirror, dammit!

  4. says

    Wash your hands … a lot. And don’t touch your face. And don’t touch anyone else’s face.

    Zero reported cases doesn’t equal zero cases.

  5. Mobius says

    A couple of weeks ago I had a yearly appointment with my VA doctor, which was done by phone. But today I had to go in and do the lab work. Fortunately they were screening at the door and hand out masks. Plus there was almost no one at the clinic.

  6. Kevin Karplus says

    Pedant here—a “vector” is a living creature infected by the pathogen, a “fomite” is an object contaminated by the pathogen. I’m not sure what a locale that harbors a pathogen is properly called, but “fomite” seems like a better fit than “vector”.

    I was feeling lucky to be in a county with only 7.3 deaths/million and 500 confirmed cases/million (with moderate testing rates—the positive fraction of the tests is only 3.2%), but 0 reported cases is amazing. Having 0 reported cases seems to be happening only in fairly unpopulated parts of the country (based on the somewhat inaccurate map at https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/PMesx/6/ which has obvious errors in Rhode Island, for example).

    I had a dentist appointment scheduled in April, but it had to be cancelled—the public health agency has only started allowing non-emergency dentistry this week. I suspect that the dentist’s office will be calling me to reschedule in another week, when they get caught up with scheduling earlier cancellations.

    We’re going to be sheltering in place for a long time, a big chunk of our economy is tourism (13.6% of all jobs, 12.2% of gross regional product), and we have one of the most expensive rental markets in the country, so we’re going to have a lot of people unable to pay rent this summer and fall.