2020 was a long year, and the pandemic is not over yet. On the bright side, we can learn a lot from what has happened. Even early on in this experience, sleep researchers were busy evaluating the effects on our sleep with new studies, or altering ongoing studies to see the effect that this disruption of our daily routine has had on our sleep. The annual Sleep Medicine conference that is held in June was postponed to August to allow time to adjust to the virtual platform. Even by then, there was a wealth of information starting to emerge.
Rebecca Robillard, PhD, reviewed her survey of 5,525 Canadian participants aged 16-95, who reported sleep difficulties that increased from 36% before the outbreak to 51% after the outbreak, although approximately 6% of people reported sleeping better.… Read more
As I write this, one quarter of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated, while half have had at least one dose. If the vaccines offer us significant protection against the assorted variants in world circulation, there is hope that we may entertain a gradual return to pre-pandemic life once the vast majority of the population has been fully vaccinated. Here in the United States, debates about re-opening businesses and schools still rage, but a pervasive sense of “giving up” also is in the air.
“We’re tired of being under restrictions, and some people are vaccinated, and other people don’t care, so let’s just reopen,” is the rallying cry.… Read more
Clinical and public health guidance related to COVID-19 has evolved over the last year. The Allegheny County Health Department provides the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) for physicians on common clinical and public health COVID-19 scenarios.
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation separates people with an infection (e.g., COVID-19) from people who have not been diagnosed with the infection, while quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 but are not yet experiencing signs or symptoms of the infection.
What is a close contact?
For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more.… Read more
By Deval (Reshma) Paranjpe, MD, MBA, FACS
The siege has lasted one year now. One year since the pandemic caused our lives to change in ways we’d never imagined. One year since everything shut down and all manner of unthinkable things ensued. One year since we started to see both the best and the worst of human nature brought out by crisis on a daily basis, both in the news and in our everyday life.
We may be done with the pandemic, but the pandemic is not done with us. Some people are living in a strange reality, believing that the pandemic is over for them (and for the rest of the world) because they’ve been vaccinated.… Read more
What is the future of telehealth? At the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an article entitled “COVID-19 and the Rise of Telemedicine,” the Medical Futurist reported:
“Telemedicine has not had the success it had hoped to achieve.”
Now, just a few months later, telemedicine “might” be a new normal and multiple commentators and organizations, such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and McKinsey & Co., are touting the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) as the long-awaited tipping point for the implementation of telehealth. Note some of the statements below; the underlining is mine.
- McKinsey & Co. projected that virtual visits could account for $250 billion dollars of annual healthcare business, or 20% of commercial, Medicare and Medicaid visits.
… Read more