This is a decision we have not made lightly.
We have decided to close temporarily from Monday March 23rd, as Premier Dan Andrews has introduced Stage 1 Restrictions as part of the Victorian State of Emergency to manage Covid-19.
As the multiple massage and myotherapy associations debate whether we are considered "essential" services, as a clinic here at Simple Wellness Myotherapy we have had some difficult discussions about our ethical position in regards to our response to the virus that is effecting people worldwide.
Both Emily and I considered carefully the patients we've seen since the beginning of 2020, and we made a list of high risk categories. We found that more than 75% of our patients fit one or more of these risk groups.
People who are personally at risk, including our patients with: Multiple Sclerosis who take immunosuppression medication; weakened immune systems and other autoimmune diseases; more than one chronic condition; elderly themselves or living with elderly family members; family and household members with immune diseases; pregnant.
People who are essential workers, including: nurses; Emergency Department staff; allied health practitioners; teachers; childcare workers; supermarket or distribution workers.
People with a high risk of coming in contact with infection, including: people who travel on public transport; travel interstate or internationally for work.
We had already increased our hygiene efforts between March 16, when Premier Andrews initially declared the State of Emergency, up until now. We had increased the time between appointments to allow more time to sanitise surfaces and tools, and to reduce the number of people in our waiting area. Dr Dib and the Together Medical Family Practice had also decreased their number of appointments, spaced out their waiting room chairs, and started taking phone consultations for anyone displaying any kind of respiratory symptoms.
Over this last week, we received many calls and messages from patients to cancel their appointments due to Covid-19 and the instructions from the Premier that if you can stay home, to do so.
We weighed up our options. We considered the nature of our treatments - we work hands on, on your body, usually for at least 50 minutes at a time, sometimes longer. It would only take one ill person visiting our clinic to put us and our patients at risk.
So with sadness, we made that decision to temporarily close so that we can stay at home, and encourage you to stay at home, too.
We understand that by closing for now, this may impact your treatment plan.
As best as we can, we will support you online, on the phone or through your exercise programs we've created for you using your PhysiTrack account. Any patients with current treatment plans who need support or help can email me at Mel@simplewellness.com.au
Here's hoping that the more people who stay at home means the quicker we all get back to a more normal looking life!
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.