Blogging from the Caymans Again after 2 Years!
For many years, every three months I would have a blog where I announced being down in the Caymans. However, due to the pandemic, I haven’t been down here in 2 years as of this month. So let’s dig into what Cayman is all about when it comes to Orthobiologics.
Closed for Two Years?
It was March of 2020 and only a few days before national shutdowns began and I had my clinic scheduled in Grand Cayman. I was getting ready to leave Colorado, but something told me I should cancel that trip. Sure enough, within days, borders were closed and I and many patients would have been stuck in Cayman for weeks or months until we caught the right repatriation flight back to the US.
After that, Cayman, like some countries decided to pursue a zero COVID strategy. That meant that opening back up to tourism, which only makes up around 20% of their economy, was not easy. There were fits and starts as they figured out how to deal with tourists, but now they’re officially open again. We took a lateral flow test at home (we used the online proctored BinaxNow test) and the employees of the clinic did the rest getting our certificate of travel through their online portal. We just showed these two documents at passport control and we were good to go.
Mask use here is sort of like it is in many places in the US right now. Some businesses require them and others don’t. The grocery store last night did, but our resort did not.
Grand Cayman has been our licensed advanced Orthobiologics practice site for many years now. Here, for patients that need it, we can grow their mesenchymal stem cells out in culture and use those instead of bone marrow concentrate or platelet-rich plasma. That gives us much more flexibility in what we can do to help patients. For example, if a patient needs many sites treated, here that’s not an issue. Another reason to be here is for diagnoses that do much better with cultured stem cells.
The upshot? We love coming down to Grand Cayman and Seven-Mile beach! This is where my youngest son (who’s now making his way to college) grew up coming down to several times a year so it’s in many ways like a second home. This is also where I get to use cutting-edge technologies that still aren’t available to patients and physicians in the US!