Life and Coronaviruses

By Jean Cibula, MD, FAES

Well, this isn’t quite the item that I had planned to write.  My original intention was to talk about diets for the New Year. Obviously, I procrastinated. Maybe next time.

I’m sure everyone is following the news about COVID- 19. We at the University of Florida Department of Neurology hope that you and your family are staying safe and sheltering at home wherever possible in order to stay healthy. Many of my patients are at high risk should they contract COVID 19, so I urge everyone who is reading this to pay attention and abide by the guidelines. This is serious.

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Friends from around the country used one of the meeting apps to create a virtual TGIF gathering last week. We were in our various homes from Chicago to Tampa, enjoying a favorite snack and beverage while seeing each other on video. The thumbnail array looked a bit like the Brady Bunch intro (yes, I’m dating myself). But it was a lot of fun. We’ll try it again and are thinking about online games to add to the fun. Balderdash was one our favorites for in-person fun, and may be adaptable.

UFHealth has been moving to telemedicine very quickly, just like other practices in the country. There are growing pains, of course, but I think everyone has enjoyed the contact and not having to drive into the office. I know everyone misses campus parking! I suspect we’ll be using telemedicine for many if not most of our follow-ups after this, and the folks who are driving from Pensacola, Panama City, Tallahassee, Melbourne, etc will be happy not to have to pile into the car and drive for hours with the wheelchairs and so on. But, there are definite limits to telemedicine, particularly without video, so some visits (especially for new patients and new problems) will still need to be done in person.

If you haven’t already done it, please sign up for the UFHealth portal at:


Regular email is not secure for protected health information. Please don’t send me info through my email, send it through the portal. If I get sick, no one else is going to check my email and get that message. But if you send it through the portal, the team will have someone who will see it.

The portal is the platform where you can see your test results, get your medication list (as reconciled from your last clinic visit) and allergies. You can request refills. It will also have your appointments and provide the link for your telehealth visit. It’s easy to use and quick to sign up. I promise.

I look forward to “seeing” you virtually or hearing your voices on the phone. Until that time, stay safe & healthy.

Now, go wash your hands! For at least 20 seconds. With soap & water!