Special COVID-19 Issue #12
The novel coronavirus is surging to the highest heights seen since the pandemic arrived on American shores. Hospital ICUs are at capacity, and patients are sometimes being transferred from their home states because hospital beds are full or too understaffed to treat those without COVID-19. The potential of a “twindemic” – COVID-19 plus the flu season – looms, as cases of the flu are starting to rise.
The rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide continue to increase. And, given that the number of deaths in the U.S. thus far is the equivalent of eight 9/11 events, many frontline workers involved in patient care are undoubtedly suffering from PTSD.
Thankfully, major strides have been made in the treatment of inpatients, which has increased the chance of survival for those sick enough to hospitalized. Progress continues to be made on the vaccine front. And the holiday season is imminent, a much-needed opportunity for celebrations.
We are all suffering from pandemic fatigue, which means we must be extremely diligent in the middle of a red-hot surge during the upcoming festivities. Though certainly not fun, wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing personal and environmental hygiene practices have been proven many times over to work relative to reducing the risk of infection and spread (up to 80%!). During November, a month of recognizing our blessings, show your gratitude concretely by valuing the lives of family, friends, and those who put their lives at risk every day as much as your own.
COVID-19 will not loom large in our lives forever. Staying home, being vigilant, and going virtual is the safest way to go this year. Sacrifices now mean fewer infections, fewer suffering from “long-hauler” syndrome, fewer deaths of those we love, and a greater chance of a more rapid and sustainable economic recovery. Taking steps to be creative about being together while apart this year means a greater likelihood of everyone still being around next year to be together in person.
Stay Informed. Stay Safe.
- Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings | CDC
- Keeping Safe from Pandemic During the Holidays | Harvard
- Don’t Bring COVID Home for the Holidays | MedPage Today
- Doctor Visits and Getting Medicine | CDC
- If you cannot avoid traveling and must fly: Holiday Travel Recommendations Issued by TSA
- Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine: 6 Things to Know | Fast Company
Support Your Health and Well-Being.
Optimizing your physical and mental health is more important than ever. Being as healthy as possible, managing chronic conditions, and boosting your immune system through physical activity, healthy eating, adequate quality sleep, and managing stress will help you move through the holidays with more energy and emerge with greater resilience in the new year.
Take action now to avoid or work on losing the “COVID 15” (similar to the freshman 15-pound weight gain that is being experienced by many during the COVID pandemic), especially with the holidays around the corner. Although the average weight gained during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is “only” about one pound, studies indicate you’re unlikely to lose the extra weight the holiday season ends. In ten years, you’ll have gained 10 pounds without even noticing it just from these few weeks alone.
- Take Action To Help Boost Your Immune System | PeopleTweaker
- Healthy Holidays 101 | Healthline
- Updated Exercise Guidelines Showcase the Benefits To Your Heart and Beyond | Harvard
- Why Functional Fitness Is Important for Everyone | Healthline
- 20 Ways To Be Grateful and Kind During Difficult Times | PeopleTweaker
- The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use | Kaiser Foundation
- The [Un]Lonely Project | The Foundation for Art and Healing
- Missing Someone? How to Cope, Regardless of the Situation | Healthline
This is one of several special editions of Take One & Call Me in the Morning, focused on COVID-19. It’s brought to you by InsightMD. Get all the resources and tips from previous newsletters here.
Knowledge is power. Get the facts from the Centers for Disease Control.
Z. Colette Edwards, MD, MBA, leads Insight MD, a healthcare consultancy, which offers program design and implementation, targeted strategic planning and development, innovative product design, consultative data and clinical ROI analysis including benefit design and large claims analysis, health disparities/health literacy/cultural competency consultation, and PeopleTweaker, a coaching service line providing health, wellness, and life coaching and training in health coaching techniques for health professionals and support staff.