April 3, 2020
OPEN LETTER: A Plea to Our Patients and the Community At Large
This is the time for the people of our region to stand together by staying apart. South Louisiana, through its rich history, has survived many disasters including of course most recently the devastation and destruction of Hurricane Katrina. We can do it again now, but we need the help of EVERYONE. The physicians of your community ask you to please follow the guidance to stay at home. Don’t gather with anyone that does not live in your house. If you are thinking “I am just going to hang out with 3 or 4 people” -- remember that those 3 or 4 people could hang out with another 3 or 4 people or go to a public place like the grocery or hospital and pretty soon those 3 or 4 people become many more.
If you are young and healthy and think this virus won’t affect you, then think about those who might be more compromised like your grandparents, or your best friend’s mother with diabetes, or your neighbor with cancer, and stay home for them. Please don’t think that you are invincible. We have a good number of young patients that are very sick. Some have coronavirus and others battle an array of diseases that compromise their immune systems and make them extremely vulnerable.
We don’t want you to be alone. Use your phone. Socialize by Zoom or FaceTime or Skype, but do it from the safety of your home. If you are sick with mild symptoms and don’t require treatment, then assume you have the virus and self-quarantine. Urge your contacts to quarantine for 14 days. Have your groceries delivered outside your door.
We know this is a difficult time and we will continue to fight for you and help to take care of you, but we ask that you help us in this fight. The people of our community have demonstrated our resilience in the past and we can do it again.
Let’s stand up together by staying apart.
Tanya Busenlener, MD, President, Jefferson Parish Medical Society
Juan J. Gershanik, MD, President, Orleans Parish Medical Society