Health experts globally are preaching social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Shops have closed, people are working remotely, and people are choosing to limit human to human contact when possible.
But what if you are feeling under the weather? Do you stay home or do you go to the doctor? You can do both, thanks to telemedicine.
"Telemedicine is using a telecommunications device… so patients can see providers at a distance without having to travel to see them," said Joe Tracy, Vice President of Care and Innovation at Lehigh Valley Health Network. "We've been doing telehealth here for more than 15 years."
With telemedicine, patients can connect with providers from their smartphone or laptop.
Dr. Eric Bean, a ER physician at LVHN, has been able to diagnose a variety of ailments via telemedicine.
"Before COVID19 we would routinely see things like rashes, cold symptoms, urinary tract infections, back pain," Bean said.
COVID19 virtual visits are free on the LVHN app.
St. Luke's Health Network offers video visits too.
Dr. Muhamad Aly Rifai in Easton does tele-psychiatry. He's also president of the Lehigh Valley Psychiatric Society.
"Our goal is to make sure we alleviate the suffering of patients and help them with their anxiety to make sure they don’t flood the emergency rooms asking for medications for anxiety," Rifai said.
Rifai can prescribe meds electronically too.
"A lot of pharmacies are now delivering medications to the elderly and people who don't want to leave their homes," Rifai said.
Rifai said patients can also see doctors from a distance without a smartphone or computer.
"The President has allowed visits to be conducted by phone during this time during national emergency," Rifai said.
Insurance companies also have ways to get connected with providers virtually.
Aetna has Teladoc.
Capital Blue has a Virtual Care App.
Medicare is expanding telemedicine in response to the virus.
Check with your carrier for details on if and your plan covers telemedicine.