COVID-19, Telemedicine, and the Demise of the Physician’s Touch
AbstractEven before the #MeToo movement, touching another person carried an element of risk. With the advent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, that risk has intensified as a result of the role of direct contact between individuals in spreading the infection. This is not to say that the danger of becoming infected by touching another person was unrecognized before the COVID-19 pandemic. Infection control practitioners have long extolled the benefits of washing hands between patients, and
of isolating those in the hospital with known transmissible infections. Whereas in the distant past comforting patients by sitting on their bed and holding their hand was a part of the art of medicine, recent policies have made the practice an infection control “no-no.”
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