It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope…”
Those are the opening words of Charles Dickens's timeless classic “A Tale of Two Cities”--words that certainly describe where we are now as we cope with the Covid19 pandemic. We should be mindful of the pro’s and con’s, the positives and negatives that lie before us. Maintaining a balance point of view is also good for our mental and emotional health. The most powerful human emotions are hope and fear--and it’s critical that we understand how each one applies to our current collective situation.
What do we need to fear?
Nursing home residents are at great risk. Across the country we are hearing stories of facilities where the most susceptible to COVID19 are suffering and dying. This is simply unacceptable. Government authorities at all levels should immediately intervene to ensure that best practices are in place at every nursing home and managed care facility--to the point of closing down the ones that cannot or will not comply with stringent protective guidelines.
Domestic abuse and substance abuse are on the rise. Not everyone can handle the inevitable stress and discomfort that comes along with social distancing. This is not time for any of us to remain silent. If you are a victim of abuse, or know someone that is being abused, you are obligated to seek out help to alleviate the situation that you or someone else is in. “We are all in this together” is more than just a trendy phrase--make sure that you’re part of the solution and not part of the problem!
Impoverished and minority communities are being disproportionately impacted. “Social distancing” is being made possible by millions of low-paid workers who are still on the job--in many cases they are working under dangerous conditions that put them at greater risk to COVID19, grocery workers for example. And many minority group members have a higher percentage of pre-existing health conditions that make them much more vulnerable to the virus--African Americans in particular. Once again, “We’re all in this together” means that we must ensure that these groups are as safe as the rest of our citizens from this deadly virus that won’t be leaving any time soon.
What should give us hope?
Telemedicine actually works! Digital technology is enabling simple remote diagnoses of vital signs. This means doctors can identify people who may be in jeopardy without them having to leave their home and show up in already crowded ER waiting rooms and clinics. And there’s the opportunity to keep monitoring them until their symptoms subside or it becomes obvious that it’s time to go to a medical facility.
Social distancing is flattening the curve. California, our most populous state, is leading the way on this important front. The rest of the country needs to follow its lead. Sadly, there are still a handful of governors who are failing their states by not enforcing social distancing more seriously. If you really believe “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, then social distancing shouldn’t even be a debatable issue!
We are openly discussing our anxieties. It’s incredibly healthy to share our concerns and fears about COVID19 with our loved ones and friends. We’re going through a very collective experience and discussing all things COVID19 with others simply builds a stronger sense of community--something that we hope will last a long time after this is all over with!
Antibody testing is hopefully around the corner. We hope that soon we will be able to identify those individuals who have the antibody for CV in their systems. Not only does that mean that they are immune to the virus, but that their antibody can be harvested and used to inoculate others as well. This will be a major step in allowing our country to return to some semblance of “normalcy” and to move forward. Stay tuned!
Healthcare workers are getting the recognition they deserve. These are the soldiers that are going to win the war against COVID19. We should regard them as heroines and heroes as they literally put their lives on the line to aid the afflicted and protect the rest of us. Do whatever you can in your respective community to support them and their families. Winning this war is firmly in their hands!
We hope that this blog will help you to keep everything about COVID19 in perspective and that you will maintain a balanced point of view. Better Health Advisors will strive to keep you informed with accurate, timely and useful information as all of us continue to navigate these challenging times. Thank you!