With all eyes on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Medical Association and its 10,000 members want to remind Minnesotans to pay attention to all aspects of their health. 

“These days it’s hard to focus on anything else but COVID-19,” says MMA President Keith Stelter, MD. “But, don’t disregard other health conditions or concerns. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or other acute or chronic conditions, don’t ignore them. Continue to take your medications and reach out to your doctor by phone or e-visit options. Your doctor or clinic will contact you if a face-to-face visit is necessary. And those with serious health concerns should not be afraid to seek care or go to an emergency room, if needed.”

 Stelter encourages Minnesotans to keep exercising, while maintaining a six-foot buffer. “A walk or run or bike ride are great ways to stay active. You should also consider developing stress-reduction strategies such as meditation or yoga, or other spiritual practices,” he says.

 Unfortunately, with sheltering in place practices, the risk of violence may increase, particularly for intimate partners or children. “These are stressful times,” Stelter says. “If you need help coping, reach out to a professional. If you know someone who might be going through a crisis, reach out to them.”

Finally, Stelter says Minnesotans need to continue the basic, but very important, habits such as washing their hands thoroughly and frequently, cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently and refraining from touching their face and wearing a mask in public spaces if you feel comfortable doing so.

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