Hello everyone! Dr. Blanchard here, I am a family physician here in Michigan with SALTA Direct Primary Care. I am living in a camper! I never thought I would own a camper, but here I am. I got this camper to stay separated from my family during this crisis, during this viral outbreak because I want to keep my family safe. During this time there is a lot of misinformation out there, there is a lot of wrong information out there and I thought it’d be a good idea to do videos to get some good information out there based on fact.
I am going to try and do these videos each night while I am here. Today, is March 23rd, this is day one in the camper. I am using the CDC as the single point of truth for these videos, sometimes directly form Beaumont Hospital and their advisories, and the University of Michigan. When I do these videos, I am going to try to cover about three questions every time during these videos. If you have questions you want to submit you can contact us on our website with the contact form at the bottom, Facebook, or Instagram @salta_directprimarycare. Or if you are already a patient, you know you can contact me via text, call, email or MyChart.
So, the main question I am getting is, what is Coronavirus. Coronavirus is the common cold and is very contagious like the common cold, but what happened is it mutated. So instead of like the common cold causing symptoms in the upper airways, this virus causes symptoms in the lower airways often. This is because it can more readily attach to receptors in the lower lungs. Along with these questions I am also getting is Coronavirus serious or is it just the flu? The answer is it is more serious than the flu. This is a serious virus; it is one to not take lightly and that is why we have all these changes occurring. Today, the governor shut down all non-essential businesses. One of the things I want everyone to understand is that as much as 80% of people who get this virus will have symptoms of a cold and you will not get super sick some people including young children may not experience any symptoms at all. However, 20% of people will have a problem and will have more significant symptoms and as a resort will end up in the hospital or have a very difficult time breathing. This is very scary for doctors because we have not seen a virus that causes this many people to have this many problems with breathing all at once. This is affecting people that are younger, under 50 that may or may not have a lot of medical problems, but it is a small percentage. Most people that have a serious problem with this virus are ones that are older, they are going to be older than 50 and especially older than 80. The older you get, the older the risk. We are really trying to keep those older people in the community safe and keep trying to stay indoors and stay away from each other so we can prevent the spread of the virus and bend the curve so we don’t have so many people going to the hospital at the same time and so we can better take care of people. I am on staff at Beaumont hospital and there are increasing numbers of folks going to the hospital with this and having trouble with breathing. However, the healthcare community is rallying and doing a great job with helping people during this time. You may be asking well I have a fever and my doctor said I don’t need to be tested. This is true. We are currently only testing those who are at high risk from having things like diabetes, or lung disease or heart disease or older with symptoms. If you are generally younger and you are experiencing symptoms it could be the Coronavirus, but your doctor may not recommend testing. The truth is from a clinical standpoint with treating this virus and managing it it’s not very helpful to know if you have the virus, so the testing is not that critical for us. We are testing more frequently who have significant symptoms or who are at high risk.
So, one of the things that I am grateful for is my family. I have two sons, one who is at Michigan State University and one who is a sophomore at Eisenhower. Initially they thought it was nice to not be in school, but now they wish they were back in school. I also have a wife Julie and we’re going to be coming up on our 25th wedding anniversary. I am very thankful for my family. This is a sacrifice for them with me living out in the camper. It’s a sacrifice for me but they have grown accustomed to sharing their father or their husband with my patients. I am always grateful for them and their understanding. This is going to be very difficult for all of this, but it will pass, and we will all come back together hopefully sooner than later.
One good thing that I am hoping will come out of this virus is more civility in our society, more unity in our society. This virus does not discriminate it does not care if you are republican or democrat, it does not care what your race is, it does not care what your citizenship is, it has no borders, it does not care what your sexual orientation is. I am hoping that because of this we will see more unity in the United States, and we will see more unity in the world in general as we all come together as the human race to fight this common enemy.
Finally, I want to explain what direct primary care is and one thing that I love about it. I have been practicing direct primary care for 20 years. We don’t bill insurance; our patients pay a monthly membership fee and for that we are able to give them more access to us and we are able to provide more care and time with each of them. We can give them better experience in care, better outcomes of care and we do reduce the overall cost of care. People pay a $90 per membership per month for adults and $45 per member per month for patients 26 and younger. You basically are hiring a private physician or physician assistant. If you want to learn more about direct primary care, check out our Facebook or Instagram @salta_directprimarycare or on our website at saltadirect.com
I want everyone to be safe out there, love each other and take care of each other and look out for each other. While we are at home, take the time to get to know each other a little bit better. I will. Be back tomorrow with day two and my confinement in the cabin. Thank you all!