A Gainesville physician serving on the state’s Coronavirus Task Force Primary Care Provider Committee likes what Gov. Brian Kemp said about limiting spread of the disease but has deep concerns as it spreads.
“Closing the bars and nightclubs is vital,” said Dr. Andrew Reisman, a family physician with Longstreet Clinic.
Gatherings of more than 10 people also are banned, unless the people can be kept six feet apart.
“How that (exception) will work remains to be seen,” said Reisman, president of the Medical Association of Georgia.
He also noted that Kemp said the state has shipped out 532,170 masks that prevent the inhalation of airborne particles.
“I’m not aware that we have received any of those in our clinic, but then, I’ve been out of the office since Friday,” Reisman said on Monday, March 24. “That is something we desperately need. I think we’re down to one box. We’ve been struggling to find supplies.”
Reisman is one of 12 committee members, including three state legislators, charged with addressing impacts COVID-19 would have on health care, as well as communities, industry and emergency preparedness, in Georgia.
“I have full confidence in these committees to serve the needs of all Georgians during this challenging time,” Kemp said.
“The meetings started on a text chain,” Reisman said. “It’s been a constant exchange of ideas, information and request for opinions. There’s been a sharing of various articles that members have found.”
As far as the pandemic itself, “it’s widespread,” he said. “I’m definitely worried about my patients.”
Especially the older ones, Reisman said.
“I worry for them on a regular basis, whether they are doing enough to stay safe. I’m concerned about the children and the friends who are helping to take care of my older patients, and whether they are maintaining their social distancing,” he said.
Personally, Reisman also has seen “a tremendous decline in the traffic in my practice, which leads to a tremendous decline in revenue. So, I have concerns for my employees, having to cut back hours. I have concerns for my own family, as a provider, and how long it’s going to take to recover financially from this situation.”
Also, “people are going to be losing their insurance when they lose their jobs,” he added.