By Dr. Gina Lynem-Walker, Associate Medical Director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
The body’s immune system is incredibly complex and keeping it well-regulated relies on many factors – including diet, exercise and sleep. How much alcohol an individual consumes is also a factor. When the body processes alcohol, multiple organs are affected in different ways – all of which have negative impacts on the immune system. As more and more people turn to alcohol to cope with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic,
A year ago, the nation's housing market, like the rest of the economy, went into a deep, COVID-induced freeze. By the summer, the real estate industry had adjusted to socially distanced open houses and buyers were trying to get ahead of what would become a long year of work and school from home.
A year of COVID-19 has devastated the US labor market. Despite recouping more than half of the 22 million jobs that vanished during the past twelve months–and a better-than-expected February report, the country still has 9.5 million fewer jobs (6.2%) than the pre-pandemic level a year ago.
Q: I was reading that depression and anxiety have gone through the roof and I can relate. I'm not just socially isolated but feel my mental health and functioning deteriorating. At least I have a remote job but I feel my problem solving at work is poor and my irritability is constant. How can I get practical help and still be safe from the virus?
Jacqueline Thielen, M.D., Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I recently turned 50, and I walk about 1 mile daily and work out two to three times per week. I believe I am beginning to go into menopause, as I have not had a period in a few months. Also, I have noticed the number on my scale rising, even though I have not changed my diet or activities.
Q: I've been trying to put out a million fires since the pandemic began and have no gas in my tank. I feel so guilty when people ask me to help and I don't pitch in. But, I'm not sleeping or eating well, and working ridiculous hours. How can I say no without feeling guilty?
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: After going to the emergency department for what I thought was a heart attack, the doctor told me there were no issues with my heart and that my symptoms were likely from a panic attack. How can I tell the difference, and how can I prevent future panic attacks?
Q: As I go into 2021 I don't know whether to duck or look forward to a better experience. I want to be optimistic but feel like I've got Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD) from 2020. Is it possible for a global crisis to give you PTSD as an adult and if so how are you suggesting your clients cope with the emotional trauma?
Q: I feel so relieved that we actually have a vaccine and that it's coming our way to help us create herd immunity and get our work and lives back on track. Am I a fool for feeling and thinking optimistically that we have brighter days ahead?