Clearly going nowhere fast, I decided to change tactics. I disconnected the virtual visit portal and called my daughter’s primary care physician. The lady who answered the phone expressed shock and disbelief that the express care clinic told me not to bring her in. We commiserated for a moment, and then she found a way to squeeze my daughter in for a visit within half an hour.
While I was on my way to the doctor’s office, the insurance company called back. The guy on the phone told me that he noticed that I’m still in the queue for a virtual visit, and I’ve been there for quite some time, and did I still need to talk to a provider? This is where I held the phone at arm’s length and stared at it to make sure I heard it right. I told the guy why I decided to give up on their service, and that the doctor with whom I briefly spoke should not be around people, and should be reassigned to a lab in some basement.
When I arrived at the doctor’s office, while the physician’s assistant was taking my daughter’s vitals, I recounted my odyssey. She said that the clinic has been unusually quiet, and they have had plenty of openings. In fact, the schedule was not as busy as normal due to so many cancelations by patients. In the exam room, we discussed symptoms with the doctor, quickly determined that it wasn’t coronavirus, and discussed over-the-counter options to relieve the cough. She prescribed an albuterol inhaler to help break up the chest congestion, and we were out the door.