Posted By: Carol M. Pate, Ed.D.
Preventive Care is Most Important Now
It’s not surprising that many of us didn’t go to our primary care physicians during the first pandemic months of 2020. By May of 2020, primary health care visits declined over 60%. That was to be expected with the lockdowns and COVID-19 fears. What’s happened, according to RAND, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit, is that there were far fewer colonoscopies, mammograms, blood sugar tests, vaccines for infants and toddlers, MRIs, and more across the United States.
It might not be such a large concern if the health statistics didn’t change much, especially if people visited their physicians once the coronavirus was somewhat contained. Unfortunately, due to many factors including fear of contacting COVID-19, individuals with emergent heart conditions such as heart attacks and who didn’t go to their physician or to the emergency rooms had a much higher rate of death than before the pandemic.
The tremendous rise in the use of telehealth helped to connect us to our physicians, yet it still hasn’t bridged most of the gap in preventive care issues. The concern is that most of us will wait until it’s too late to see a physician about an issue that could have been treated more effectively had we seen her or him earlier. In addition, by staying as healthy as possible, if we do by some chance become infected with the coronavirus, we stand a much better chance of having milder symptoms that don’t turn into situations needing intensive care.
It’s now January 2021 and you’re wondering about whether to see your physician for preventive care. Before making a decision, it’s best to talk to your doctor about the reason for your visit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It may be easiest or safest to delay some appointments or conduct them through telehealth. In other cases, it might be best to go in for your appointment as safely as possible.
Here ae some guidelines by health experts to consider as you decide on how to take the best care of you in 2021:
This does seem like a daunting list. However, it’s clear from the past year that preventive care is even more important now than ever. You want to catch conditions, illnesses and/or other problems before they become serious. The healthcare system is now much more prepared than at the beginning of the pandemic.
For more details on how to prepare for your preventative care visits, READ HERE.
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