Preparing for second wave of COVID-19: Vancouver doctor gives advice on navigating outbreaks

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VANCOUVER – As the number of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia has slowly increased in recent days, some health officials are reminding residents that occasional outbreaks of virus cases will be possible for the foreseeable future. Vancouver medical professional Dr Rhonda Low says it’s important for people to start seeing COVID-19 as a long-term reality, rather than something temporary that will soon be over.

“If you start thinking temporarily, it can be quite stressful to wait until the temporary is over when there is no end in sight,” Low told CTV Morning Live on Monday.

Low said she has seen a mix of mental health impacts linked to COVID-19. For some people, the pandemic has allowed them to slow down and set priorities. But for others, the pandemic has brought significant stress related to health, finances and isolation.

“Some of my patients are much happier during times of COVID because it got them off the hamster wheel. This gave them permission not to have to perform 200 percent like they were before, ”she says.

“But in other cases, I admit it’s very stressful on mental health. ”

And because COVID-19 is here to stay for the time being, Low said it’s also important for people to understand that cases of the virus are likely to fluctuate, which means it’s important to take care of certain things while BC’s numbers remain relatively small.

“We need to take advantage of the time we have right now even though it is low in our community,” she said. “This is the time when you want to come in and do your regular preventative health checks. ”

Low said it was a good idea to get routine dental checkups, mammograms, blood pressure checks, Pap tests and vaccines now.

And, in the coming months, Low recommends getting a flu shot.

“Initially, COVID can present itself as the flu, so if you’ve been vaccinated against the flu, we can somehow reduce the risk of this being seen as the reason for your illness,” she explained, adding that this will help speed up testing for COVID-19, which will help “prevent the spread in our community.”

Dr. Rhonda Low’s comments are part of a four-minute interview in which she also discussed antibody testing and border closures. To listen to the full interview, click on the video above.

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