Page 4 - Desert Oracle August 2020
P. 4

President’s Corner

               Happy August to all my Arizona Paralyzed Veterans of America Brothers and Sisters. In
               the month of July I went to my Annual at the VA SCI unit in San Diego. I have been
               going to my Annual at the SCI unit in San Diego for years. However, this year my trip
               was not the same as it has been in previous years. The reason my trip was not the same is
               because of the coronavirus. Many of you have probably went to a SCI clinic for your
               Annual since the coronavirus. What I would like to discuss in this article is my
               experience attending the SCI clinic for my Annual during the coronavirus/COVID 19.
               I will start off by saying that I live in Mesa Arizona and the SCI clinic I go to for my
               annual is in San Diego California. I am always scheduled to be picked up by 3 AM in
               Mesa Arizona and taken to San Diego California. The trip on average is 7 hours. During
               the 7 hours I am seated in my power chair and that is not an issue because we who utilize
               power chairs and have utilize those powers chairs for years are used to sitting in our
               chairs for 10 or 12 hours a day. On previous trips as a passenger on the van going to or
               from San Diego a mask was not required. During this trip because of the coronavirus a
               mask was required for the safety of the driver and the passenger. The driver as well as the
               passenger are required to wear a mask during the entire trip going to and leaving from the
               SCI clinic. This was my first experiences of policies that have been implemented at the
               SCI clinic in San Diego because of the coronavirus while attending my Annual in San
               Upon arriving at the VA in San Diego as in all VA’s across the nation a temperature
               check was taken and a mask was required upon entering the hospital. Once entering the
               hospital and going onto the spinal cord injury for floor I was informed of the policies that
               are set in place because of the coronavirus. One, we could not leave our room unless we
               had a mask on, two, we could not have visitors, three, we could not get a day pass to
               leave the facility, four, we had to eat in our rooms instead of the going to the day room
               and eating with other patients, and four, we were not allowed to leave the floor unless
               accompanied by transfer personnel going to x-ray, surgery, oncology or urology.
               I understand these changes were made to keep veterans/patients safe as well as doctors,
               nurses, and other personnel on the floor. All in all, I will say as in previous Annuals my
               experience in spite of the coronavirus was pleasant.

               Chapter President
               Leonard Hosea Smith Sr.
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