How to navigate post-COVID elective landscape

How to navigate post-COVID elective landscape


The world turns again as the tristate area opens back up. Governors are handing over the baton détente to their citizens. Dinner parties, weddings and concerts are returning to a new normal.

How has your health faired through the pandemic? Have you put off elective surgery, procedures, seeing your doctors and specialists? Or maybe you are taking care of an elderly parent who needs assistance more than ever. There is a backlog of check-ins, and a logjam of jeremiads. As a doctor of pharmacy and geriatric specialist, I am starting to see a slew of negative health outcomes indirectly related to the pandemic.

I lived through the pandemic with an unusual perspective. Most of my time is spent conducting chart reviews in nursing homes and assisted living centers. When the pandemic hit, nursing homes were strongly impacted, as evidenced by death rates. Medicare data indicates as many as 134,000 COVID-19 deaths were patients and staff of nursing homes.Patients who survived were subject to isolating conditions and not allowed to see their family and friends — unless through a window. The purpose of this policy was to help prevent the spread virus. The inevitable outcome was a sharp uptick in antidepressant and anxiolytic utilization.

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