Doctor’s Prescription: More Caution, Less Fear


No one cares more about your family’s health and well-being than you do… but your family health practitioners run a close second!

That’s why, as COVID-19 infections and the “lockdowns” meant to slow the spread of the disease persist, your family doctors want to help you do everything possible to survive and thrive in this difficult time.

For most families, that means doubling-down on caution, but also working to combat the natural fear you and your family members may experience as a result of both the disease and the lockdowns.

Recent media reports, including interviews with top medical and scientific experts, have suggested that the health risks of being isolated from “normal” life during the pandemic are significant, and sometimes overlooked as families become increasingly afraid of the disease.

Mental health issues have taken on new importance.  Suicide, addiction, abuse, and depression are all on the rise as the disease (and the overall societal reaction to it) create the sort of anxiety and fear some medical experts have likened to a long-lasting, low-grade mental health “fever.”

Isolation from normal life has proven to be especially hard on the mental health of children and adolescents, according to a recent scholarly article published online by researchers connected to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health).

So what’s a family to do?

Stay in touch with your family medical practitioners, and be disciplined about following your doctors’ advice.

But make sure your approach, while strictly cautious, does more to alleviate fear in the home than amplify it.

Have Your Family’s Health Habits “Slipped?”

We’ve all heard – countless times, by now – about the general practices necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (as well as the flu, the common cold, and whatever else might ail you and your family).

Wash your hands “religiously,” as Michael Dowling (CEO of Northwell Health, New York’s largest medical provider and private employer) recently put it.

Wear your mask… avoid crowds… keep your distance… and stay home when you’re sick.  These are the “basics” experts like Dowling continue to recommend, and which comprise the list of things you and your family do when you’re exercising disciplined caution.

But Dowling and other experts also recommend keeping up with the “normal” health habits, such as good nutrition, exercise, water intake, good sleep, and (in many cases) taking supplements.

These habits are always good ideas… but they’re especially important now, if for no other reason than to maintain a sense of “normalcy” in the home.

Mom and Dad aren’t skipping their workouts… the family will continue to eat well… bedtimes will continue as usual.  When these practices are kept up, everyone in the family can experience a lessening of anxiety and fear as we all do our part to stay healthy.

Strong health habits work together to reduce stress… and that leads to less anxiety and fear.

Make Sure To Keep Communicating

Recent posts on the Colorado Department of Health web site also give good suggestions on “reducing fear and taking care of yourself.”

Some of those ideas include being careful not to “take it out” on family members and loved ones… talking to kids and teens about their fears and anxieties… practicing kindness… finding ways to help others who are more vulnerable… and, above all, reaching out for help when you need it.

Your family doctors are here to help, and they’ll always be ready with suggestions when you call.  They want you to stay healthy, and to avoid coming down with COVID-19 or any other illness… but they also wish you the best mental health, and certainly don’t want you and your family living in fear of the disease when an empathetic helper is as close as the telephone. Visit our page here to learn more about urgent care and family care.