We started CityMD with a simple idea: Making health care accessible to all and serving our communities with kindness. No one could have imagined that more than 10 years later, a global pandemic would take hold in our hometown and push all of us to adapt to constant change as we try to forge some version of a new normal.
But here we are, in a city and metro area best known for its resilience, facing yet another challenge. Just as we did in spring of 2020, during last winter’s surge and when the Delta variant arrived this past July, there is no doubt the people of New York and New Jersey will once again rise to the occasion.
For us at CityMD, the focus is quite clear as we look to serve our patients and communities while at the same time protecting our dedicated and hard-working employees’ health and well-being.
We don’t like seeing lines wrap around our sites any more than you like standing in them, which is why we have reintroduced the “virtual line” to enable patients to wait for care in the comfort of their homes, cars or at a nearby coffee shop. Whether you’re visiting us for typical urgent care needs or something specific to COVID-19, thank you for your patience as we cope with this extraordinary demand.
Hopefully by now, we can all appreciate that burnout among health care workers is a very real phenomenon. So please know that when we tell you we need to start halting registrations prior to closing time, it’s because our employees are trying to finish a long shift and get home to be at their best for the next day’s rush.
For our patients and communities, we have a few simple suggestions:
First and most importantly: get vaccinated and, if eligible, get boosted. Everything we know about the Omicron variant at this point makes it clear that vaccination offers some level of protection against infection as well as significant protection against serious disease.
Next, mask up. It is hard to believe any of us still have to say this but wearing a mask helps protect you and everyone around you. This has been an effective practice for more than 100 years. Everyone is safer when we all keep doing it.
Finally, be careful. We know it’s the holiday season and people will be gathering. Let’s protect those most vulnerable (unvaccinated children, older people with underlying health issues) by being vaxxed, masked and tested when experiencing any symptoms. In addition to the CityMD near you, there are private and government-sponsored COVID-19 testing sites all over the region as well as reliable home test kits hopefully available at your local pharmacy.
As difficult as everything might seem now – cold and flu season converging with yet another variant during a busy holiday season – we can take some comfort in the fact that this isn’t 2020. As a city, region, and nation, we know so much more than we did then, and we have considerably more tools to help in our fight. Let’s remember to be kind to each other, take the concrete steps we know will help beat this and point the way to a brighter 2022.
Be safe and be well.