Letter: Don't add to burden on healthcare system

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To the Editor:

Dear friends and family, please don't get sick right now. I'm not talking about COVID-19 (even though I don't want you to get that either). As most of you know, there is a COVID-19 tsunami on the horizon, and our health care systems are already starting to get slammed...and may quite possibly become overwhelmed in the next few weeks. Any and all non-COVID-19 illnesses will draw resources away from where they're needed most.

Many illnesses are unavoidable, but so many are preventable. If there was ever a time for preventative health measures, it's now. If you smoke or vape, quit. If you have an unhealthy diet, improve it. If you drink, keep it to a minimum and don't drive. If you drive, wear a seatbelt. If you participate in dangerous activities, put them on hold. If you are due for an immunization (particularly flu and pneumonia), get them at a pharmacy. If you are prescribed a preventative medicine, take it. If you are sexually active, practice safer saex and use contraception. If you're sedentary, take a walk. If you're stressed, learn to meditate. Practice compassion. Strictly practice the hygiene techniques that are being promoted everywhere right now.

I want each of you to be healthy all the time, but anything you can do to keep yourself out of the health care system for the next several months will save lives. If you get sick, by all means talk to your doctor and get the care you need. But if there are any areas for improvement in your health that you have control over, please get right on them.

I am concerned that I haven't seen a lot of attention paid to this important message, so please help spread it as much as possible.

Randall Anselmo,

North Bennington

The writer is a local physician.

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