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Had an appointment to see new Ophthalmologist — previous one is retiring. After a while, your doctors all retire.

Had mailed my health history when asking for appointment. Even though we are all paying lots for all those interconnected and/or unconnected health record systems, the records are kept for only a certain period of time — 20 years for one hospital — while most of us try to live longer than that! Then when you find a new doctor, that service asks for a health history.

You can make up a new one or you can take time now to create yours and submit it.

Sent the printed history and a letter saying current provider retiring, could I change?

Received telephone call to set appointment. Navigated the road repairs and arrived on time. Staff pleased by my health history by mail.

Automatic doors so no need to touch. My now long shaggy hair was awkward for their required forehead temperature check upon entering the medical office complex. Then asked by staff at desk in hallway to exchange my mask for one of theirs as it would be better. Given a sticky tag to wear showing I was following steps in place.

My mask worn the whole time. All staff and medical personnel masked.

Receptionist behind plexiglass shield and wearing gloves and mask took insurance cards and had required documents signed.

Cleaning of each place done thoroughly and begun as I am moving from intake to preliminary quiz about immediate health and symptoms to exam.

Very little actual touch of me or of my things but welcoming atmosphere even so.

Really well done. And a really new set of moves in these times. I appreciated every step.

I don’t know what happens to those who have symptoms. This is in a medical center. Is the person sent to an emergency room, sent home, simply turned away if not insured?

A few years back, Cedar Falls doctor said go to Urgent Care. Walk In Clinic was as close as I could get that day in Waverly. Said blinding headache, not a common thing, last time meant stroke. This was at 1:30 in the afternoon and receptionist looked up and said “Oh, we don’t see patients in the walk-in clinic until after 5.”

I know personally people can be turned away. And OMG but medical receptionists should be given better training!

I have an artifact — an actual written reply to my written questions after that doctor and I made a beginner’s attempt at telemedicine. I have that because I wrote to ask the three things left unclear.

I have had a fine telephone appointment with a doctor in Iowa City — it’s great to talk with someone who shares laughter with me.

I have had excellent care and terrible care and managed to tell the difference and move on.

In this COVID-19 time, I appreciate the medical workers, the receptionists, the custodians, the sanitizers, the delivery and transportation folks and the people in the research positions working to make the world survivable again. I do not appreciate those seeking to make money through fear mongering.

This isn’t person against person or belief against belief — this is all of us against Covid 19.

Can employers open and allow employees to work and earn money to use at the places we enjoy but may not require? I don’t know. Not yet I think. Soon I hope with enough safety measures in place, I hope hope hope we can.

In the meantime, think my own hair style might best be defined as the brushed back Einstein Look.

Patricia Coffie is a storyteller and retired librarian living in Waverly. She can be reached at