Preventive Care During COVID-19
Improving Quality of Life through Preventive Care
Since the start of the pandemic in March, many people across the United States have reported delaying or even cancelling appointments for routine care, and even not seeking emergency care when it was needed out of fear of contracting COVID-19 at the medical facility they attend. In September, the CDC released survey data that was collected in June on delay or avoidance of medical care because of COVID-19. The survey was administered to adults over the age of 18 across all major regions in the United States. After collecting the surveys, the CDC reported that nearly 40% of all adults had either delayed or avoided preventive and emergency care.
This has raised concern for many health professionals because the survey data also showed that young, middle-aged, and older people were all avoiding or delaying care fairly equally. At each stage of life there is essential routine care that is necessary for improving quality of life and preventing chronic diseases later on in life. Some of this routine care includes cancer screenings, blood testing, and immunizations administration. Additionally, routine physicals can also provide people the opportunity to ask their doctor any questions about their health that they might have.
In regards to emergency care, the survey asked people if they had either avoided emergency care for life-threatening conditions or non life-threatening conditions/accidents. Although there is a major red flag with people choosing to avoid medical care for a life-threatening condition, there is also major concern for people who avoided the care for non life-threatening conditions. A few examples of non life-threatening conditions or accidents could be a broken arm, sprained ankle, or a concussion. Even though these things may not technically be life-threatening, it is still crucial that they be checked out by a health professional to ensure that you will recover fully and appropriately.
Fortunately, if you are feeling uncomfortable with obtaining emergency or preventive care given the current state of the pandemic, there are a few things that you can do at home on a regular basis to help improve your preventive care. Check out the list below:
Wear a mask when in public places
Wash your hands frequently
Sleep for 7-9 hours each night
Choose heart healthy, low cholesterol, high fiber foods
Practice stress relief, such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation