Reflecting on 2020: Any Silver Linings?
Over the past year, I’ve heard many people comment on how difficult and challenging 2020, the year of the pandemic, has been for everyone and how they wished the year would just end. Myself included.
But, before bidding the year farewell, I reflected on some of the positive developments that occurred in 2020.
Silver linings for people with Parkinson's
Yes, 2020 is a year that many will be happy to say farewell to. But before we do let’s consider, however small, the silver lining on what has been a very dark cloud.
The rapid development of vaccines
Usually, it can take a decade or more for a drug to get to market. It took only months for the Covid-19 vaccine to be developed. Could this lead to the more rapid development of drugs for other health conditions?
Hopefully, the knowledge and experiences gained through the development of the covid vaccine will accelerate the timeline for other drugs.
The need to stay in place posed a problem for patients needing to visit their doctors. The answer? Telemedicine. While telemedicine has existed for several years, its use was limited because many physicians preferred in-person visits with their patients and insurance companies didn’t always cover the cost.
However, hospitals and clinics encouraged online doctor visits out of concern for their patients’ safety and insurance companies have begun to cover the cost. This has been especially beneficial to those patients needing to travel long distances to see their physician.
Online grocery shopping
While online grocery shopping existed before the pandemic, the number of people using it and stores offering it has exploded as more people took precautions to avoid the virus.
Curbside pick-up and delivery provide a convenient means for those with mobility problems to get their groceries. Due to the popularity of this service, I believe it will continue to be offered by many stores.
In many areas of the country, gyms have been closed or have sharply limited the number of people allowed to come to the gym. For those with Parkinson's disease (PD), this was more than a minor problem since many go to the gym for exercise programs like Rock Steady Boxing.
Some gyms have gone virtual and offer exercise classes free or for a small fee. This has proven to be ideal for those persons who live in rural areas that don’t have exercise programs specifically designed for those with PD.
With many movie theaters and playhouses closed, movies, plays, and concerts are being streamed at home. Those with mobility concerns now have access to more entertainment options than they had before the pandemic.
While there may be fewer options available online after the pandemic, the public has responded well to them and will probably exist after the pandemic.
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