We are well into another year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve learned so much about this virus. Vaccinations are on the rise. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. However, now is not the time to let your guard down. Yes, there is incredible hope that we are on the cusp of a new day, but the truth is many states are still seeing increasing cases of COVID-19, and people are still suffering.
At Innova Primary Care, our priority is your health and well-being. This is why you will notice all the safety measures we have in place at our office. We are grateful for all the knowledge and medical advancements over the past year that allows medical providers to treat coronavirus patients. Still, we know now is not the time to ease up precautions.
Life before Covid
Do you even remember what life looked like before COVID-19? After an entire year of facing down this giant, it can be challenging to remember how we lived just a year ago. Remember when we went to movies in groups with our friends? What about the familiar sounds of packed concert halls and theater shows? So many things look and feel different now; but it is possible that life will not always be this way.
At the time of this post, the number of reported Covid-19 cases has been trending down in the past several weeks. However, the newest report of seven-day totals shows cases are on the rise. This indicates that we are not anywhere near out of the woods, and now is not the time to ease up on safety measures.
Many states are beginning to remove some of the restrictions previously in place to prevent the virus’s spread. Experts, however, warn that now is not the time to ease up on these strategies. We will likely see declining numbers due to vaccinations, continued safety protocols, and a decline in seasonality, seasonal spread. While the downshift in cases is good news, the emergence of variants of the virus is a cause for new concerns. If we begin to reverse the behavioral changes put in place as safeguards, a rise in cases and deaths may still occur.
We are tired. We long for the days of no mask requirements, indoor seating at full capacity, and a return to life as we knew it before the pandemic.
The media coverage and onslaught of information occurs 24 hours a day. The constant barrage of information has left many of us feeling overwhelmed, fearful, and even depressed. Because we have never faced something like Covid-19 on a global scale within our lifetime, it makes sense that this topic is at the forefront of every news outlet. A year, however, is an extraordinary length of time, and many of us are facing coronavirus fatigue, making it easy to skip precautions.
How to Stay Safe And Sane
So, what are some practical ways to keep your guard up and remain positive during the months ahead?
Your mental health is vital right now. Chances are you are feeling pandemic stress like most of the world. While now is not the time to throw caution to the wind in search for relief, there are things you can do to stay mentally fit. You can start with routine. Structure during uncertain times can bring a sense of peace. When you know what to expect, as best you can, from your day, you can maximize your time and ward off stress.
Keep your mental health in check
- Stay connected. While gatherings with those who live outside of your household are still not recommended, you do not have to go at this alone. Seek social contact via text, phone, or video calls.
- Monitor your alcohol usage. According to the American Psychological Association, during the pandemic binge drinking is up. Current research from RTI International on drinking behavior also found that over thirty percent of those surveyed report drinking more than usual while twenty-one percent say they have drunk less during this time. It is important that you monitor your alcohol usage and if you need to, check in with a medical professional. These are trying times to say the least. For many, alcohol has become a coping mechanism, but it does not have to be this way for you.
- Stay informed. Find trusted news sources and gather your information from there. So many voices are vying for your attention so it is of the utmost importance that you find reliable sources and drown out the rest of the noise. However, if the news is taking its toll on you turn it off for a while.
- Take a break from the news. We have access to information all day every day. If continually consuming media on the state of the world is causing you anxiety, limit your access to media platforms.
Follow safety protocols
The best defense against the coronavirus is to avoid exposure. The suggestions from the CDC are still the same here, in spite of what local and state governments choose to implement. Wear your mask. Cover your nose and mouth. Wash your hands. Try and avoid close contact with others outside of your home. Keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
These protocols have been in place for over a year now, and are proven effective.
Don’t forget to maintain your yearly health screenings, take your medication, and continue to safely visit your healthcare team.
Research from the American Medical Association finds that in the early days of the pandemic, over forty percent of Americans chose to forego medical care because of the crisis. For some, the physicians they routinely see were not open at the time. Others decided to skip care because of coronavirus fears. Financial concerns brought on by the pandemic were also mentioned as contributors to avoiding medical care.
While COVID-19 is certainly something to be on the lookout for, you still need to prioritize your health. Findings from the report show that twenty-nine percent of these surveyed missed a preventative care visit and close to the same percentage missed at least one outpatient appointment with a physician.
We have safety protocols in place here at Innova Primary Care to ensure that our patients and our staff stay safe. This is the case for most healthcare providers. We do not want you to contract COVID-19, but we also do not want to see you miss your healthcare screenings and appointments.
We know you are beyond frustrated with the abrupt shift in your way of life, but we encourage you to stay diligent and protect yourself and those you love.
The truth is, we do not know when the tides will officially turn, but it does look as if we are on our way. Numbers are trending down, but if we ease up on restrictions too soon, we will see a rise in cases once again. No one wants this to occur. Take care of your mind, be smart about your actions, and do not forget your health. These are things we can all do to continue to stay on guard.