Don’t ignore new symptoms that may be indicative of such health problems as….
Published on: 09-01-2020
We have heard so much about the dangers of COVID-19—the illness, the complications, and the many deaths. Are there lessons from the way the pandemic has changed disease patterns and health interventions?
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has precipitated crises in recent months—health, hospital, economic, political, and educational (closure of schools and universities). The statistics of those affected, infected, and dying change daily, confirming that this virus is not simply going to peak and disappear.
During this global disruption, people have been reporting fewer heart attacks and strokes than usual. This isn’t because people’s health has improved, but largely because people have been afraid of going to health-care settings where they may be exposed to COVID-19. People have sustained irreversible health damage or even died unnecessarily as a result. There’s also been a lower reporting of domestic physical abuse injuries, as victims are unable to reach out for help during the lockdown.
Another challenge that’s emerged is the reduction of physical activity following the declaration of the global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. This was noted as early as 10 days after the declaration, and continues into the pandemic. This drop-off has been noted globally, even in countries that didn’t have strict lockdowns, such as South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
There are three important take-home messages that stem from your question:
Don’t ignore new symptoms that may be indicative of such health problems as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, slurred speech, or changes in consciousness (warning signs of pending heart and/or stroke problems). Seek help!
Regular physical activity is essential for all aspects of wholistic well-being, and this includes maintaining the immune system at its best efficiency. Exercise daily.
Regular health checks are important in staying well, and should be carefully planned and implemented despite the pandemic. These checkups can be lifesaving.
We’re facing the so-called new normal, or as many are saying: “It’s no longer business as usual.” We can only speculate as to what the future will look like. We need to take care of our health as best we can, given our circumstances. Thankfully, what we do know is that God is faithful, and He will never leave us nor forsake us. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. . . . Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:8-16).*
Regardless of what happens in this life, we have the hope, the blessed hope, of eternal life, when there will no longer be sickness, death, nor dying, for “the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4). With joyful expectation we therefore can say with John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20, KJV). Maranatha.
* Unless otherwise indicated, Bible texts are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright ã 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Peter N. Landless, a board-certified nuclear cardiologist, is director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.
Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, a board-certified internist, is an associate director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference.