By Nate Blackford, Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville president

It’s difficult to say when the global COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s been over 12 weeks since our little part of the world started to quarantine and shut down.

As we continue to open back up, it’s clear these past three months have left a lasting impact. It’s also clear there is a high degree of uncertainty ahead. All of this can be very overwhelming, resulting in significant stress and anxiety impacting both individuals and families.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. On their COVID-19 website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dedicated resources to deal with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. We’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s uncharted and unprecedented.

The CDC provides a few tips worthy of sharing:

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and overwhelming.

• Take care of your body.

• Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate.

• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.

• Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.

• Avoid alcohol and drugs.

• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

• Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

• Know the facts to help reduce stress. Learn and share the facts about COVID-19 and help stop the spread of rumors.

Bottom line: We are all in this together. Take care of yourself and each other. We will get through this.

The month of May also includes Emergency Medical Services (EMS) week, May 17-23. This year’s theme is “Ready Today. Prepare for Tomorrow.” From all of us at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, we want to say thank you to our partners for their commitment and service to our communities. We are proud to work alongside such dedicated individuals and teams.

Finally, I’ll close with these thoughts. The threat continues, and we are prepared. I had the opportunity to participate in our local Lions Club meeting via Zoom. I was able to discuss the increasing number of positive cases in our 15-county area that is Region H and talk about our readiness as a medical center.

As I write this message, Region H has confirmed nearly 600 positive COVID-19 cases and two deaths. Although a majority of cases were in Buchanan County, centered primarily around employees of Triumph Foods, we have seen new cases in Nodaway County and surrounding areas this week. It’s important to continue to take the proper precautions as communities work to increasingly reopen. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Wear masks in public places. Do your part to slow the spread.

As for Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, we are prepared to meet all your healthcare needs. With the increase in testing availability, along with the screening and prevention efforts in place throughout our hospital and clinics, we remain a safe place to receive care. Please don’t delay your care unnecessarily. We are here for you.

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