Hello everybody! My name is John Blanchard, and I am a family physician here in Michigan. Again, doing this video from the COVID Camper, I am doing these videos from my camper, so I do not risk bringing the virus home to my family. I work for a practice called SALTA Direct Primary care. As I am doing these videos, I am going to answer questions that I am receiving, one thing that I am grateful for, one positive thing I hope comes out of this viral pandemic, and then finally how SALTA Direct Primary Care works for me and why I like being a direct primary care doctor.
For those of you who do not know, direct primary care is a different model of primary care where we do not bill insurance, you pay a monthly membership fee or companies also hire us to take of their employees. For that we can provide more time, attention, and access for our patients.
Today, is March 29th and it is day 7 in the COVID Camper. Let’s go through the numbers we are seeing here in Michigan. These numbers are from the Michigan.gov/coronavirus website. There are 3,657 positive cases and there has been 92 deaths. Remember the number of positive cases is a lot less than the actual numbers we believe of those carrying the virus within the community and I think we will see these numbers increase as more testing is available. The average age of the deceased is 68.4 so this is hitting older populations and those with chronic diseases like pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and others. However, the young under 50 are not immune to this. The range of deceased is 36 to 92 so even though a smaller number of people under 50 are getting severely ill, there are still younger people who are being affected by it.
How do I cope with the fear and anxiety of this virus and the quarantine that is going on? This question has a lot of answers. One of the things I notice within our society is we tend to be very anxious. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety in general let alone during this viral pandemic. There is a theory called mindfulness that I would encourage everybody to learn about. It is a great time while we are at home. Search mindfulness on the internet, on YouTube. There are a lot of different concepts of mindfulness. The whole idea of it is to counteract the stress response that we have from problems that we face in life. Small problems up to large problems. One of the concepts that allows us to be more resilient and to cope with these problems is the concept of control. We tend to want to control our environment. It gives us a sense of security and a sense of being safe. The problem is as we go through life it throws things at us that we cannot control. SO, when faced with a problem we must ask ourselves “is this my problem or is this someone else’s problem?”. Sometimes we take ownership of someone else’s problem. The next question is, “is this something I have control over, or is this something I don’t have control over?” If it is something, you have control over then you cope with that by problem-solving.

Let’s go through that thinking now:
1. We’re faced with a problem.
2. The problem is this viral pandemic.
3. Is this my problem or someone else’s problem?
4. Well, it is all over our problem, but it is my problem. I have to do with this problem.
5. Do I have control over it? Or Don’t I have control over it?
6. There are some things that I have control over. Washing my hands, if I get groceries and its cold outside, leave in the garage. When bringing the groceries in wipe them off, stay home, keep your distance, leave the mail in the garage for a couple of days. The atmosphere seems to kill this virus.
So, there are things we can do to have control over the problem. But there are things we don’t have control over. We may get it, a loved one may get it. This does not mean we can’t cope with what we don’t have control over. The way we cope with things beyond our control is acceptance. There is peace and power in acceptance. If you are using all your energy and all your mind trying to solve something that you have no control over. That is what drives anxiety. Some people may be walking around the house and feel like they must do something that is that mind going and going and going trying to solve something you cannot solve. There is a certain amount of strength that comes from acceptance. I want you to start thinking about that. With these different videos I can talk for hours about the concept of mindfulness and the different strategies to cope with stress and anxiety. As I continue these videos, I will talk about the strategies.
One thing that I am grateful for is related to mindfulness. Counting your blessings in gratitude. Attitude of gratitude. So even the small things, today was a nice warm day. Sun was shining and I am so grateful for this. It only rained for a little bit. This is a great time to open the windows! Get some fresh air in the house and get the atmosphere in!
One positive thing that I hope comes out of this is that people will use this time while they are in their home that they will learn about mindfulness. Learn about the stress response and how to counteract that stress response through meditation, positive perspective, what we call cognitive reappraisal, changing your thought patterns from thought distortions into true and accurate thoughts. Setting goals! There are so many things we can do to rebuild our resiliency related to this fear and anxiety we have from this virus. I would encourage you to checkout an app on your phone called Headspace. This will bring you through guided meditations that will explain what meditation is and how it benefits you in counteracting the resiliency in facing the problems and anxiety that we have.
One thing I love about being a direct primary care doctor is not only does it allow me to treat patients from a medical perspective but really understand that healthcare as a doctor I can do for my patients. I can treat with medications, I can recommend a surgical procedure to fix them, but is their behavioral and mental health. Historically we have focused on the main two, but their behavioral and mental health is a critical part of healthcare. In direct primary care we can integrate this into the primary care delivery system. In fact, our providers couch our patients in stress management and resiliency training, otherwise known as SMART coaching. This helps them learn these concepts and coach them up to become resilient and lessen their fear and anxiety.
Thanks for tuning in! If you want to learn how direct primary care can work for you, feel free to call Kyle at 248.922.3076. Kyle can answer all your questions and see what six of our locations is best for you and near you! You can also follow us on Facebook @salta_directprimarycare. OR you can search us on Google stating, “direct primary care near me!” or join right on our website at saltadirect.com
Stay safe! Love each other! Practice mindfulness! See you tomorrow!

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