What You Need to Know About the Recently Released COVID Vaccines: Part 1

  After nearly a year of dealing with COVID in the United States, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. Multiple vaccines have been approved for emergency use and are in the early stages of being administered to health care workers and the nation’s most vulnerable residents. We hold great hope in the COVID vaccines, but will they really be the miracle cure that we desire? Are they as dangerous as the skeptics claim? We delve into the greatest concerns and opportunities in this three-part blog series. Which Vaccines Will Be Available in the United States? As of…

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What Are the Most Promising COVID Treatments in Development?

As we await the release of the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, we’re learning more about the top treatments for severe cases. Certain medications and therapies can dramatically improve outcomes for vulnerable patients who, even a few months ago, would have been unlikely to recover. These include the following: Remdesivir Although medical experts have tested a variety of antiviral drugs on patients actively battling COVID, only remdesivir has consistently shown promise. Previously used against dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the medication has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for severe COVID cases. A study recently published in the New England…

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Protecting Your Immune System From the Flu and COVID This Winter

Social distancing and mask-wearing may be key measures for reducing the spread of COVID, but the status of your immune system also matters. Unfortunately, the sheer stress of navigating a pandemic has done a number on our collective immune response — and this does not bode well as flu season approaches. Take this time to bolster your immune system by implementing these key strategies: Fix Your Diet Stress eating may be a common coping mechanism during COVID, but it’s exactly what we should be avoiding at this sensitive time. Instead of turning to junk food, stock your fridge and freezer…

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The Great Barrington Declaration And COVID: Part II

  Signed in early October, 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration proposes an alternate method for handling the COVID pandemic. This statement advocates for a risk-based approach to mitigation, in which most people under the age of 60 are able to go about their lives as usual, while older individuals take extra precautions. In the first part of our blog series on the Great Barrington Declaration, we delved into the specifics of how this approach to COVID mitigation might work. Now, we’ll take a closer look at the individuals who signed the document, as well as the primary sources of criticism…

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When Should You Consider Getting a Second Medical Opinion?

You’ve visited your doctor in search of answers to your most urgent medical issues. Now, your gut tells you that their response was off. Intuition holds far more value than many health care professionals will acknowledge, so it may be worth your while to seek a second opinion. Keep the following considerations in mind as you continue your hunt for answers: Your Symptoms Have Yet to Disappear If your symptoms persist even after you follow your doctor’s instructions, an incorrect diagnosis may be to blame. Don’t assume you need to continue living with pain or discomfort. A second opinion may…

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October 24, 2020 Is National Drug Take Back Day

  National Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday, October 24th from 10AM-2PM.  Do you have expired or unused prescription medications around your house? Participation in the annual National Drug Take-Back Day is the best way to get rid of them in a safe and effective way. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) stated reason for Take Back Day is to “provide opportunity to prevent drug addition and overdose deaths.” Abused prescription drugs are considered both crucial public safety and public health issues. Listed below are local “National Drug Take Back Day” participating locations and addresses: Fairfax County, Virginia: Fair Oaks…

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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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