It’s an understatement to say this has been difficult. I realize how much the community depends on acupuncture and am anxious myself to get back to what we love to do. One profound joy for any community acupuncturist is seeing everyone together in a mutual state of peace and healing.
Unfortunately, groups are getting a pretty bad rap right now, which is why we are still suspending our community acupuncture service until further notice. Although there are many reasons for this, I’d like to share some of what motivated my decision.
Opening right now comes with a high risk of exposure that could cause us to shut down again. A lot of patients come through our door on a daily basis. It would be a major setback to invest in reopening only to have to close because covid-19 “might” have made its way into the clinic. I also never want to be in the position of calling my patients and saying they may have been exposed, especially since many have pre-existing conditions.
Anyone who knows my treatment style realizes that do no harm takes precedence over every decision I make as a practitioner. I must be absolutely confident about the safety of a service or product before I’ll give it to anyone. Even with compliance to state guidelines, there is something about offering a hands on service in a group environment that just doesn’t sit well with me at this time.
Financially, community acupuncture is possible because we see multiple patients in an hour. That is how it stays affordable while paying the bills. The social distancing requirements that limit capacity along with the added overhead for covid-related supplies make this model unsustainable for the time being. I also didn’t want to be in competition with hospitals for PPE. They may need it in the upcoming weeks.
Since the risks of opening our clinic for group acupuncture outweighed the benefits, I decided to invest time in community services that could remain available regardless of the unknown consequences of Georgia reopening. If you follow our social media, you are already aware of our Chinese herbal pharmacy and qigong classes. You can find instructional videos about these services on facebook and instagram. We will continue to educate the community on their many uses through these platforms.
Because we feel a responsibility to the community as a nonprofit, the herbal consultations are free. Patients just pay for the herbs ($13/week). And the online qigong classes are also free. We encourage you to check these out and you can sign up for them online. We realize many people know about acupuncture but the usefulness of Chinese herbal medicine and qigong aren’t so familiar. Please reach out and we will guide you on how these services can help. They are equally as powerful and life changing.
That all said, let me be very clear: SCA is going nowhere. Community acupuncture will be back as soon as it makes sense to do so. But by that time, we will also have made a greater impact into how we serve the people of Savannah over the long term.
A few days ago, I was asked if I was confident about my decisions regarding the clinic. My answer was yes and no. My uncertainty is due to the continually evolving nature of a pandemic. Can anyone really know what will transpire over the following months or how history will regard their decisions? We’re all making judgement calls based on how we interpret the situation, our values and personal circumstances.
I feel very confident, however, because I know with 100% certainty we’re not contributing to the pandemic or possibly bringing it home to loved ones. Also, covid-19 is pushing us to evolve as a nonprofit. Our program services are now more diverse, accessible and can withstand the possibility of rising infection rates or a second wave in the winter.
I appreciate your patience through all of this and the support that many patients have shown. If any of this is unclear, you are more than welcome to get in touch with me.