The New Post-COVID Normal
Just a few months ago, we were all debating how much screen time was too much screen time for our kids. Then along came coronavirus. As we adjust to a new normal, with widespread quarantining and extreme social distancing, screens have become our safest interaction medium. As of this writing, we are relying largely on digital media for work, school, sports, religious practice, socializing, and healthcare.
The Doctor Will Screen You Now
The origins of Telehealth, remote healthcare using telecommunications technology, began with NASA efforts in the 1960s to monitor and protect the health of astronauts during space missions. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the NASA Telehealth program branched out to partnerships with the U.S. Indian Health Service and to natural disaster responders around the globe. Since then, Telehealth has been mostly reserved for people living in rural areas.
Now that the best way to safeguard our health is to socially distance, Telehealth has become the norm everywhere. Are you concerned about unexplained physical symptoms? Do you need ongoing mental health treatment? In both of these cases, Telehealth is now the recommended first-line treatment.
From Telehealth to Digital Learning
As we all become seasoned remote learners and workers, we are discovering digital opportunities far beyond our daily zoom calls. We’re exploring new whiteboard software, our kids are in classroom kahoots, and we’re getting acquainted with new smartphone apps. If you are concerned about your family’s mental health during the pandemic, there may be one or more apps that can help you. It is not always easy to find the best app to meet your needs – thousands of mental health apps are commercially available. It can help to use a guide with expert recommendations, like Psyberguide.
The New Norm?
If everyone thought Telehealth and app-based interventions were better than in-person interventions, they would have been the norm before the global coronavirus pandemic. But many people are finding them to be safe, good enough options. After we get through to the other side of the global pandemic, we may find that incorporating digital elements into traditional health, education, and community activities is the new normal.
One smart way to use digital interventions is alongside other services. Many children are using technology for remote learning with support from their teachers. We can help them use digital health tools in a similar way; with support from providers. Could your child use extra mental and emotional support these days? Check out a site like Psyberguide. Even better, ask your current providers if they can recommend any digital tools to complement care.