Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 8

Editor's Comments

The
Virus vs. The
Great
Outdoors
by Lucy J. Cairns, MD

A

s if physicians did not have
enough sources of stress
weighing down their sense
of well-being, we now have the
COVID-19 outbreak to contend
with. To be sure, physicians are far
from alone in feeling a heightened sense of anxiety and uncertainty
around this virus, but (along with other health care professionals)
physicians are on the front lines of the response. Responding to this
threat as a physician requires making decisions, some of them very
difficult, based on incomplete and constantly changing information.
Who should be tested? How best to protect staff and other patients
from those who may be infected? Who should be hospitalized when
hospital capacity is strained? Who should receive assisted ventilation
if the need becomes greater than the supply? Some physicians in
the U.S. will likely contract this illness and even die from it, as
has happened in other countries. To cope with this potentially
devastating state of affairs, we need more than ever to support one
another on the personal as well as the professional level, and guard
our own health with as much care as possible.
Unfortunately, a number of activities that help us decompress
and recharge our batteries for dealing with work stress are associated
with increased risk of virus exposure. Attending sporting events,
concerts, or the theater, and even enjoying an evening at a favorite
restaurant or bar could come with risk that may seem unacceptable
if/when the COVID-19 virus becomes more common in our
community (this editorial is being written on March 8, so much
will have changed by publication time). Fortunately, my personal

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favorite leisure-time activity-walking in my local park, observing
and enjoying nature-is not associated with increased risk for
COVID-19 exposure. In fact, the better sleep I tend to get after
a day that includes an energetic walk may even reduce my risk of
illness. So now is a good time to make another plug for the Nature
Rx program featured in the Winter edition of the Medical Record
and set to launch this spring.
The goal of the Nature Rx program, a joint initiative of the
BCMS and Berks Nature, is to encourage Berks County residents
to spend more time in nature in order to reap mental and physical
health benefits and raise awareness of the importance of preserving
parks and other areas of natural beauty. While it is certainly possible
to appreciate the natural world without knowing much about it,
for many people that appreciation is greatly enhanced by knowing
something about at least some of the plants and animals one is likely
to encounter. To learn about a plant or animal, the first step is to
be able to put a name to it. Being able to put a name to a bird,
for instance, makes it possible to become familiar with its various
songs and calls by listening to recordings online or on a smartphone
app. Then even when the bird is not visible, if you hear its song
you know it is nearby and can see it with your mind's eye. For
me, the more I know about a plant or animal the more interesting
and meaningful are my encounters with it. It's like the difference
between walking down the main street of a big city where everyone
is a stranger and walking down the main street of my home town.
To begin putting a name to plants and animals currently
in your 'stranger' category, consider using one of the resources
described in the sidebar to this editorial. I am most interested in


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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 6
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 12
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 16
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 18
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 19
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 21
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 22
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 24
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 25
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 26
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 28
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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 35
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2020 - 36
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BCMS_MedicalRecord_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalSocietyHealthWellnessDirectory
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2018b
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_Physician_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/MedicalRecordSpring2017
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