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Knox County Hospital District—
KNOX CITY – With the New Year upon us, it is the perfect time to optimistically look ahead. This year offers a chance for new beginnings and new reasons for hope. With a couple of COVID-19 vaccines promising to offer relief from the pandemic, we have much to look forward to in 2021. Knox County Hospital District urges everyone to take steps to protect each other in the coming months and to keep health and wellness in mind.
“While a couple of coronavirus vaccines have been approved, it will still be many months until it is widely available to the public,” said Stephen Kuehler, Administrator and CEO at Knox County Hospital District. “Until we can get our community vaccinated, it is important that we all take steps to focus on our health and protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
New COVID-19 vaccines that have recently been approved are only available in limited quantities as production ramps up. The first to receive the vaccine are front-line healthcare workers caring for patients affected by the highly dangerous and contagious disease. The elderly and those with certain high-risk health conditions will be the next groups to receive the vaccine. The vaccine is expected to become more widely available later in the year.
Here in Texas and across the Southwest, along with much of the United States, rates of COVID-19 infections have reached alarming levels in recent weeks. Hospitals have seen a flood of patients suffering serious illness.
Taking everyday steps to slow the spread of coronavirus will be important in the next few months. According to Kuehler, wearing a mask in public, washing your hands frequently, and practicing social distancing can all help prevent the spread of the disease.
Kuehler says that taking steps to protect your health is often on people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions, but that this year it is more important than ever, especially since those with certain underlying health conditions are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
Schedule your wellness exam to ensure you are in good health
Annual wellness exams help ensure that you are in good health and caught up on important health screenings. These yearly checkups, covered by Medicare and most insurance plans, allow your provider to monitor your health and talk about health issues important to you and your health goals.
Your provider may request several lab screenings to check for things such as your blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Depending on your age, gender and risk levels, cancer screenings might also be ordered as a preventative measure.
Start a new fitness routine
Committing to an exercise plan is another common resolution. People of all ages and physical conditions can benefit from regular physical activity. But you do not have to wear yourself out. Even a little physical activity can help you improve your overall wellness.
Children, teenagers, seniors, even people with disabilities will find they feel, think, and look better with just a little physical activity. Starting slowly and finding physical activities that you enjoy will help you maintain the habit throughout the year. Even brisk walks are a great way to add needed exercise to your daily routine.
Focus on your mental health
Many people are feeling stressed or depressed during the pandemic. Taking breaks from the news and focusing on family can help you stay centered and find relief from stressors. Exercise and getting enough sleep are also key to controlling stress.
“There is without a doubt that the past year was challenging for us all, but there is much hope for 2021 as vaccines become more widely available and we are able to end this pandemic, ”Kuehler said. “If we continue to place an importance on our health and look out for each other, I am confident this year will be a better, more joyous one.”