One day at a time.
12-step Program Saying
I’m writing this in the time of the 2020 Coronavirus/COVID-19 quarantine. For the last two and a half months, I’ve been serving my clients exclusively through a “telehealth” process. I sit in a guest bedroom in my home and converse with my clients via a secure remote audio/video platform. So far, it’s working well for both me and (most of) my clients. As time wears on, however, a few colleagues (including the landlord at my office) and a small number of clients have posed the question of if and when I plan to return to my office and resume in-person sessions. Let me present my top ten reasons for not returning anytime soon:
10. The commute is so much better. Although I only live four minutes from my office, it’s made a difference in my life. I’m almost a full eight minutes more productive each day!
9. I’m in a “high-risk” category due to my age. Even though I can pass for 64 years old when I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I am 65 or over, so …
8. I want to model responsible behavior for my clients. That’s been a primary reason from the get-go for switching to telehealth early on. My clients seem to respect me for that and I respect myself as well.
7. My malpractice insurance doesn’t want me to. They’ve made not-so-subtle pronouncements about all the risks I would be taking if I subject clients to potential infection. Why take that risk?
6. I don’t want to expose my clients to just about the worst environment in terms of the probability of infection. Spending extended time in an enclosed space, talking to and sharing air with another person who’s potentially infected (me?) equates to just such an environment.
5. I don’t want to expose myself to just about the worst environment in terms of the probability of infection. Spending extended time in an enclosed space, talking to and sharing air with another person who’s potentially infected (clients?) equates to just such an environment.
4. I don’t want to increase the probability of infection for my colleagues or their clients. I work in a suite with five other people and although our suite has it’s own HVAC system (we don’t share circulated air with other suites in the building) we become our own hot spot within the suite over time.
3. I’m waiting until after the second wave. That’s the joke I tell people in response to the question of going back. Except that I’m only half-joking. I’m taking this approach (and feel lucky I’m able to): sit back and watch what the coronavirus does over time, then act accordingly.
2. I’m able to serve (almost) all my clients just fine via telehealth. Almost all of my clients have made the shift to telehealth. All of the new clients I’ve had since the lockdown assume I’m using telehealth and any returning clients have also made that assumption.
And now, the number one reason I’m not going back to the office anytime soon:
1. I just have no good reason to do so. It’s as simple as that!
When all of the reasons above no longer make sense, I do plan on returning to in-person sessions. In the meantime, I’m working one day at a time in the context of the “New Normal” within my profession. I just think it’s the right thing to do.
Copyright 2020 Daniel J. Metevier