Day 6

HELLO friends! Yesterday was a long day and so on my second day of blogging this pandemic experience, I’m already a day late. Whoops! Better late than never. I’ll get this post up this morning and then try to catch up today’s by later on tonight. If you’re looking for non-COVID content, scroll to the bottom!

News-wise BC has declared a state of emergency. Schools are closed indefinitely, and bars and restaurants were ordered closed for St. Patrick’s Day. BC has 186 cases (5 recovered, 7 deaths) and Canada has 569 confirmed cases (129 new, ?? recovered, 8 deaths). In the morning yesterday I did my last few in-person visits- gave vaccines and joint injections, weighed babies, and did a few urgent physical exams. Now I have gone to complete telehealth. Our staff have been instructed to give patients phone or video appointments only, and that any requests for in-person interactions must be approved by the physician (or previously determined- newborn weight checks, etc).

We have been managing a significant work volume- I “saw” 36 patients, phoned/faxed prescriptions, and then spent 3 hours in an emergency all-hands physician planning session. The seven doctors at our clinic care for several thousand patients in Vancouver, and it is our intention to have completely uninterrupted coverage. We made some contingency plans for sickness/quarantine, staff shortages, medical supply shortages, and social distancing office policies. I also updated our clinic’s COVID19 information page with links and resources.

I decided to hit the grocery store as early as possible yesterday morning, to get us a few fresh things. About a week ago I made sure we had our usual freezer staples, so in the interest of social distancing, I went to SaveOn at 6 AM (arrived just as they were opening, after trying and failing to get their online order website to work!). The shelves were moderately bare, but I don’t have a sense of what 6 AM “normal” looks like, either. No issues getting the apples, celery and *cough* ice cream that I was after.

As for social distancing, it means being 2m (6 feet) apart from other people. I know this feels dumb, really. And I know that it’s hard to be away from your colleagues/gym mates/book club, etc. The thing is that you CAN be asymptomatic and contagious. So you need to take it seriously. In related news, cycling to work has gone swimmingly! Thank you sunshine in Vancouver! (Yes, I am still going in to the office despite telehealth- need to fax/attend to urgent things/sign prescriptions/etc).

One new important piece of COVID medical advice: a case series from southern France noted that people who take anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib) may have worse outcomes. Stop taking those medicines if you use them (no need to taper) and feel free to use tylenol to manage pain or fever.

And now for some non COVID content! It’s a beautiful almost-Spring day in Vancouver. Here are my most popular posts for you to peruse if you just need to escape all the rest of it for a bit. I also absolutely suggest some non-screen/phone/radio/general media time every day!

Lifestyle posts, including the 15 outfits I made from 15 pieces, our current morning routine, Boxing Day shopping, and my organization system.

Relationship posts, which also encompasses our wedding series and whether I changed my name after getting married.

Personal finance posts about investing, how we spend money, and how I earn money as a doctor (one of the most-viewed posts on the site!)

Fun Friday Link posts- all kinds of funny/random/interesting things, posted (almost) every Friday!

See you later! Wash your hands. xo


  • Katie
    March 18, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Alyssa!
    Love your blog – I’ve been reading regularly for awhile as I stumbled upon it after you commented on another blog I follow, The Shubox. 🙂 I’m a Vancouver resident, and am wondering if you have any suggestions as to how to get a telemedicine doctor’s appointment in the next little while? It’s not for anything urgent or COVID-related, but I’m hoping to renew a couple prescriptions. I have a family doctor, but she’s not doing any kind of remote appointments, and although I’m in my 20s and healthy, I don’t think it’s prudent for me to go into her office right now (plus I’m self-isolating for 2 weeks after being in the States!).
    Thanks in advance – and thanks also for all you do, both as an MD and in the blogosphere! 🙂

    • Alyssa Heuninck
      March 18, 2020 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Katie! I love Sarah’s blog too! I have some suggestions for you in today’s post, but in brief:
      – your pharmacist has now been given permission to renew long term, stable meds, so you might be able to start there
      – you can ask your family doc’s office for a phone appointment and let them know the province has expanded telehealth permissions. Feel free to connect them with me if they need help setting this up.
      – you can consider calling a walk in clinic to see if they would provide telehealth, though this is not my favourite because it disrupts continuity.
      I hope that helps! Thank you so much for reading, it means a lot to me!


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