This past year has been unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providing health care is always challenging, and this past year brought another layer of complexity. As many of us continue to either have received the vaccine or have plans to get it in the near future, it’s amazing that we are at the one-year anniversary of this pandemic.
In my experience with seniors during this past year, I realized that COVID-19 not only affected the patient but also the whole family indirectly. Recent articles are now surfacing with patients that continue to recover slowly after being infected months before. Patients that were able to walk are now in wheelchairs, worsened cognition of seniors, chronic fatigue causing others to stop working are all examples of COVID-19 survivors. Families in turn have had to make modifications to their lives and circumstances to help with their recovering loved ones.
The vaccine started with much fanfare, but we quickly realized the challenges of administering this to the millions in an organized and efficient way. Some have had mild illness-like effects, especially after the second dose. It is unclear whether this will be a yearly process like the flu-shot or whether the immunity will last longer. Variants of the coronavirus are now occurring adding another layer of consideration for future management worldwide.
By now we all know the precautions outlined by health care providers. I do encourage our seniors to continue to be diligent about continuing these measures, especially those that may have many medical problems or are frail. This includes wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding large crowds. This very well may be the new normal for seniors. However, I do encourage activities and social interaction with family and familiar faces in controlled environments.
The medical establishment is making great strides in research and treatment options and advances. For some that is a little too late, as many have perished from this virus. So, what can we do as a society to maximize the health care we currently have? First, understand that we all are learning about coronavirus and no one doctor has all the answers. Second, do not ignore signs and symptoms your body may be experiencing, and seek out medical care as soon as possible. Lastly, stay positive. Your mental mindset affects not only your body but all those around you.
As I continue my quest to help all seniors and reflect on this first year living with COVID-19, I feel confident in our health care system to lead us back to prosperity.
Hansa Medical Groupe has offices at 5250 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300, in Skokie, and in Chicago, 847-920-0902, hansamedicalgroupe.com.