by Carla Cox, PhD, RD, CDCES, FADCES
I hate this virus. Not only do I hate that it can cause morbidity and mortality, but I hate that it has thrown people out of work, and perhaps into poverty. I hate our reaction to it and the restrictions that are imposed on young people. No graduations from high school, no high school sports, no March Madness! How sad.
Can we find something good in all this chaos? Perhaps.
There are now families that are spending time together, more so than ever before. Neighbors are helping neighbors.
The grocery stores became empty of canned goods, and fresh produce was still available. People are learning to cook with fresh foods and are no longer just relying on fast food and prepared foods for their dinner options.
Many are discovering the stress relief of a walk, a bike ride or a jog.
We have learned that we can slow down and take a deep breath. Some of our hectic lifestyle can be just a bit calmer as we look into the future. Maybe some of those tasks are not as necessary as we thought.
Hopefully this is not the new normal, but perhaps be an option for those living in rural areas or unable to travel; to be able, to virtually engage with healthcare providers and diabetes care and education specialists in private practices and small clinics.
We learned that, yes indeed, we could do virtual visits. Private and public payers, as well as companies realized there was value in telehealth
and began paying for services rendered. Hopefully this is not the new normal, but perhaps be an option for those living in rural areas or unable to travel; to be able, to virtually engage with healthcare providers and diabetes care and education specialists in private practices and small clinics.
Government and private entities are working together rather than in conflict for the good of the population. Perhaps that can continue as well, reducing the barriers to options for research and care.
We have learned that we, as a country, need to be independent of foreign governments for critical supplies that support our health such as medications. A thought we would not have entertained previous to this pandemic.
I hope this virus vanishes from the face of the earth; though we know that is unlikely to happen. But during this time of turmoil, perhaps we can reflect on what we can learn, and when we are able to go back to our jobs and see our clients face-to-face, we can take some of our lessons learned and be better diabetes care and education specialists, and perhaps better members of society as well. I sure hope so!
About the Author:
Cox is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. She has a PhD with emphasis in exercise physiology and taught classes in exercise physiology, sports nutrition and clinical dietetics for 14 years at the University of Montana. She has worked for over 30 years in the field of diabetes, with special emphasis in type 1 diabetes and the use of insulin pumps and sensors. She volunteers with ADCES, is on the executive board of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA), and is a yearly volunteer for diabetes camps as a dietitian and teen medical coordinator.
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