Even under “normal” circumstances, it can be challenging to keep up with recommended preventive care for you and your family. That includes:
- Annual visits to your primary care doctor for a checkup and routine blood work
- Well-visit appointments for children
- Immunizations, like the flu shot
- Cancer and other health screenings
Add a global pandemic like COVID-19 to the mix, and suddenly it seems like there’s yet another obstacle. For months, COVID-19 kept people out of hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices for non-emergency care. What if your colonoscopy was cancelled because it was considered elective? What if you need a blood test to monitor your diabetes, but you’re concerned about how safe it is to be in the lab? What if your baby is due for his well-visit and vaccines?
These new, and very valid, concerns are some of the many fallouts happening from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
At first, everyone’s worry was around the virus itself… Will I get sick? How many are sick? Can the health care system handle it? Our next immediate worry was… How do we survive economically when many folks are home and non-essential businesses are temporarily shuttered? COVID-19 has caused us all to look at ourselves and our lives and think about what means the most to us.
I have heard from many Independence Blue Cross members about their concerns. What I hear quite often is “As long as I have my family and my health, I will be okay.” And they’re correct — as famous American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our first wealth is health.”
In the peak of the Public Health Emergency, you may have had scheduled care that was cancelled. But over the past few months, medical professionals and facilities have become well-prepared to protect their employees and patients. Babies are still being born, heart attacks are still being managed, labs are still drawing blood, and vaccines can still be given.
Stay on Top of Preventive Care for Your Health
I urge you: Please do not forget your routine health care needs, including preventive care. Instead of putting off care you need to stay healthy, jump at the opportunity to schedule appointments and screenings that were postponed, like mammograms and colonoscopies. The healthier we can remain as a country, the better off we’ll be and the less we’ll use the health care system in the long run.
It’s important to remember that the three biggest threats to our health in the U.S. are currently chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (stroke is a close fourth). Take control of your health by getting the preventive care that’s recommended for your age, gender, and health needs. It can reduce your risk and help with early detection.
People have patriotically maintained social distancing and followed face mask mandates during COVID-19 — not just because it keeps us from getting sick. It also helps protect others from getting sick. In this same way, think of keeping yourself as healthy as possible through preventive care as the most patriotic thing you can do. We’re all in this together, right?