Andrea M Whitchurch

As we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a “return to normalcy” creates anxieties for many about returning to public interactions. In addition, in some health care settings, it has all but been forgotten that there are many other diseases/ailments that can have similar symptoms to COVID and require medical attention, and patients can’t get seen by outpatient professionals. This creates overcrowded emergency departments and taxes those resources further. Telehealth is definitely a viable option; however, it can’t take the place of personal interactions with providers completely. For example, a patient who experiences a MI during the pandemic and is dealing with all those life changes events, anxieties, medication regimens, etc. and can’t even see their cardiologist in person for them to auscultate the heart or perform exams. This can be terrifying and lead to increased anxiety. Elderly patients who aren’t tech-savvy face difficulties with devices and broadband access, and lest we forget those who simply don’t have the means to devices bandwidth. Yes, the pandemic will have its lasting effects in almost every aspect of society and change the way that we do a lot of things, school, work, etc. but we can also adapt as we have to other things in our past and make public outings, appointments, etc. safe for everyone.