Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part II

  Many people neglected preventative care long before the COVID era, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated the problem. We’ve already highlighted a few of the most problematic personal issues prompted by COVID-sparked delays. Next, we’ll take on a broader approach, looking at problems incurred throughout the health care system and in society at large: Increased Death Rate from Non-COVID Causes Evidence suggests that 40 percent of all deaths in the United States can be blamed on behavioral concerns such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Unfortunately, unhealthy coping mechanisms appear to be on the rise as people of…

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Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part I

  As COVID cases surged in the early days of the pandemic, many hospitals and clinics switched to “tele-health” or suspended certain services altogether. This was necessary during the initial period of uncertainty, as facilities needed time to prepare for a sudden influx of patients. Unfortunately, the lasting consequences of waiting on preventative care are beginning to appear, especially among vulnerable patients who still remain at risk of catching the virus. The following are a few of the most concerning long-term issues: Increased Risk of Chronic Conditions When warning signs of chronic health problems are caught early on, it’s possible…

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The Status of the COVID-19 Vaccine — And What to Know About Vaccine Safety: Part I

As we continue to deal with the uncertainty of COVID-19, one glimmering sign of hope keeps us from giving in to despair: the ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the midst of so much bad news, it’s easy to forget the remarkable ingenuity and security of the vaccine development process. The highly anticipated vaccine first reached clinical trials a record 69 days after researchers identified SARS-CoV-2 as the force behind the outbreak. Since then, researchers have maintained this breakneck pace. What does this mean for the eventual release of a vaccine? We delve into the details below: What We…

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Coping with the Stress and Uncertainty of COVID-19 Lockdown

How to Deal with the Long-Term Stresses and Future Uncertainty of COVID Lockdowns Diagnoses for depression and anxiety are skyrocketing in the time of COVID. Preliminary data from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll suggests that nearly half of Americans have suffered worse than usual mental health during the pandemic. Unfortunately, such issues are far from over, especially as we deal with an uncertain future in which another surge or lockdown could occur at any point. The sooner we acknowledge this new reality, the more effectively we can handle the mental health implications. If uncertainty has you feeling stressed, give these…

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Back-to-School Safety Tips in an Era of COVID-19 and Homeschooling

  With some schools re-opening, others going hybrid, and many remaining virtual, today’s parents face a series of tough decisions. Unfortunately, this represents only the beginning of what could be one of the most challenging school years yet. Follow these tips to keep your kids as safe as possible: Digital Safety A surprising variety of hazards accompany all-digital learning. Implement these practices to avoid top safety risks: Update security software on any devices your kids will use for school. Consider updating your firewall and anti-virus software to provide better network security. Use strong passwords for your children’s accounts — and…

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Caution for Excessive Hygiene and Hand Sanitizer

How Our Newfound Obsession with Hygiene And Hand Sanitizer Might Eventually Backfire Our understanding of COVID-19 has come a long way since the early days of the pandemic. Over time, researchers have discovered that transmission is far more likely to occur due to respiratory droplets and close contact than on surfaces. Hence, while hand-washing and sanitizer remain important, they might not play as large a role in mitigation as we initially assumed. There’s no need to let up on hygienic efforts just yet. However, we must nonetheless consider the potential downsides of taking such behavior to an excess: The Danger…

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COVID-19 and the Increased Risk of Medical Errors

Could Doctors or Nurses Be Too Distracted By COVID-19 to Provide Proper Care For Non-COVID Patients? Health care professionals face a heavy burden in a time of COVID. Every day, they place themselves at risk of infection as they care for more patients than they’re equipped to handle. Many are alarmingly short on sleep, taking on extra responsibilities to cover for coworkers who have contracted the disease. Even if they manage to remain physically healthy, the sheer mental burden of working in healthcare during a pandemic can be difficult to overcome. Given the unique challenges faced by today’s doctors and…

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What to Know About the 2019 Flu Season

Recent Flu Seasons The past two flu seasons have been particularly bad. The flu vaccine last year had an effective prevention rate of only 29%. This was caused by an unfortunate surprise in the late half of the season. A new strain, H3N2, began rapidly infecting people late in season, showing one of the problems with managing the influenza virus. Vaccines only protect against a specific strain of the flu virus. Additionally, the vaccine takes a relatively long amount of time to prepare, so any deviant strains that appear in a given flu season can wreak havoc. Predictions for this…

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Athletes Should Be Cautious of What’s In Their Workout Supplements

Workout supplements are touted to give athletes an edge in their training and exercise, allowing them to bulk up faster or have more energy when exercising. The popularity and use of workout supplements has grown in the past decade. For many they are vital to keeping in top shape. However, exercise supplements are not required to be tested or approved by the FDA and could not only impede your exercise routine, but could pose serious risks to your health. Supplements: Good or Bad? Unsafe and illegal supplements, such as anabolic steroids, can cause severe health problems including elevated blood pressure,…

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What Is the Gut Microbiome — And Why Does It Require Protection?

The gut is a buzz word in modern health and wellness circles, with many insisting that the microbes found in our gut influence nearly every aspect of our health. This topic has prompted significant confusion, but preliminary research indicates that the gut microbiome has an important role to play. Below, we separate fact from fiction with a detailed explanation of the gut microbiome — and why it’s worth protecting. What Is the Gut Microbiome? Sometimes referred to as the gut flora, the gut microbiome or microbiota consists of the many microorganisms that reside in our digestive tracts. These microbes can…

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