Spring sports' status is uncertain due to our current efforts to contain the spread of Covid 19. Given the lack of spring sports news, I undertook to make a few suggestions as a physician in this community.
I see many patients having difficulty with anxiety and sleeplessness caused by worries over Covid 19. Many are naturally worried about their health and the health of their loved ones. The efforts to socially distance ourselves are altering our daily routine and affecting how we interact with one another. This social isolation is causing stress and depression.
To help allay the negative impact on their psyche, I am encouraging my patients to limit their media coverage. This includes television news, online news, and social media. While it is important to stay informed, continuous watching of ongoing coverage is not helpful. Get updates 1-2 times per day. Find other activities to fill the time:
Exercise more (while maintaining social distance of course) . Exercise helps relieve stress and improves sleep pattern. Exercise is also good for your physical well being.
Relax in other ways that you enjoy. Catch up on books you've always meant to read (Plato's Republic or Moby Dick- which may also help your insomnia) or watch that movie you know you're supposed to watch (Citizen Cane). Play an instrument or listen to Spotify.
Cooking can be a means of relaxing. We're eating at home more anyway so try some recipes you have been meaning to try.
You have heard the following before but it is important so I will stress:
Limit your risk of infection by restricting physical contact with others. Go to stores only when absolutely necessary. Keep your distance from others. Wash hands well. Wipe phones and car steering wheel. Do not touch your face. Use a tissue if you need to touch your face.
If you have cold symptoms treat them like you would normally (rest, drinking fluids, taking Tylenol, and other over-the-counter medications). Additionally quarantine yourself and your household from outside contact as even mild symptoms could be due to Covid 19. Ride this out at home. Current recommendation is 14 days from the onset by the last symptomatic patient in the family.
Only call your doctor's office if your symptoms are severe (high fevers, significant shortness of breath). Our phones much busier than usual. You will probably be on hold longer than you are used to. Our staff members are also getting sick so we may have fewer people answering.
Many people are calling with mild cold symptoms. If your symptoms are typical cold symptoms we will recommend home remedies. We cannot test for Covid 19 unless your symptoms are severe. Test kits are extremely limited and criteria for testing are restrictive.
Handle other health concerns as you would normally. (e.g. call 911 for severe chest pain, call us for non-emergent health problems).
Humans are resilient and resourceful. We are survivors. Life will normalize again. There will be sports again. Keep yourself, family, and neighbors safe and healthy by limiting the spread of this infection.
I look forward to seeing you in the stands, sidelines, and courtside in the near future.