Learning telemedicine during COVID-19


“Welcome to the 21st Century,” the voice said with a laugh. It was one of my doctors, calling me over the Internet at a pre-arranged time on a pre-arranged day, using a computer application called Facetime.

It was a way for him to honor my routine office appointment without my having to actually travel to his office.

It’s called telemedicine, something that’s become more popular as a result of the COVID-19 virus scare.

With (Apple®) Facetime, both parties, using computers or smartphones, can see and hear one another.

(If you don’t understand exactly how that works, join the club. I suggest you ask your children or grandchildren to demonstrate Facetime for you.)

Anyway, Flip Phone Phil, as I’m known by “techies,” was using my wife Sherry’s iPhone. And being generally unfamiliar with it, I accidently hung up on the good doctor the first time he attempted to contact me. Hence, the 21st-Century comment.

I was, however, able to successfully answer his second call thanks to some quick coaching from Sherry.


My wife and I appreciate art, including both paintings and signs with words of inspiration and encouragement. Artwork covers the walls of our condo.

There are a few signs we have that I could do without. Like the one Sherry bought that says, “We’ve been through a lot together and most of it was your fault.”

Others I like. Particularly meaningful in these difficult times is a board we have that’s painted black with words of encouragement painted in white.

Here is what they say:

* Life is not a race but indeed a journey.

* Be honest.

* Work hard.

* Be choosy.

* Say thank you, I love you and great job to someone each day.

* Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper.

* Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to.

* Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them.

* Some of the best things really are free.

* Do not worry.

* Take time for yourself — plan for longevity.