This week, I had the privilege of “jabbing” several hundred grateful Austinites’ arms with the second dose of Moderna’s COVID vaccine at one of Austin Public Health’s vaccination PODs, which gave me the unique opportunity to get extensive direct feedback about people’s experience with their first shot. Note that the folks I immunized had to fall into categories 1A or 1B to qualify for their first vaccine a month ago, which means that they were either older than 65 (many in their 70s and 80s), any age front-line healthcare workers, or people ages 16-65 who also have at least one … Read more
As our college students head back to campus (or simply back to their rooms for online classes), it’s time for another question and answer session, with pressing parent questions brought to me by my amazing friend, Suzy Mighell, creator and founder of the popular blog and lifestyle brand Empty Nest Blessed (check it out if you haven’t already!) Let’s jump right in!
Q1. My college student is so sad about missing all the classic college experiences, like football games, parties, studying abroad, etc. Is there anything we can say or do to help?
No question we are ALL feeling this, … Read more
What can you purchase for the college student who has “everything” this year? As both a doctor who works with college students and a parent of two collegiate students (one undergrad, one grad school), here’s what made my TOP TEN HOLIDAY GIFTS for COLLEGE STUDENTS in 2020:
1. Restaurant Gift Cards– What?? During a pandemic? YES- for TAKE OUT. Let’s especially support our local businesses! #KeepAustinWeird Taco Shack Gift Cards
2. Weighted Blanket– These can be pricey, but for anyone dealing with anxiety and/or insomnia, they are worth their WEIGHT in gold. What weight? 15-20 lbs. (Bigger adult, … Read more
Okay, parents, it’s T-minus 14 days till Thanksgiving week, when most of our college students will be heading home for an extended winter break. Will this be the perfect storm as nearly 20 million college students in the US pack up and head home, potentially spreading COVID19 to their families and communities? Beyond masking, physical distancing and handwashing- which of course, are ALL IMPORTANT- here’s what you need to know:
- What can we all do right NOW?
- Get a flu shot this week
- Optimize your respiratory tract (because an irritated nose/mouth make it easier to pick up ANY respiratory virus,
On and off campus, it’s official: the Mid-September College Student PANIC and ANXIETY have set in, completely freaking out already exhausted, pandemic-weary students and parents. Please know that EVERY fall, students-especially freshmen and transfer students- question if they chose the wrong school or even the wrong path all together. Should they change majors, drop out, take a belated gap year, transfer schools, or pursue a trade job? Trust me, these feelings are NORMAL and very common, especially during this first month. Most students, however, find that as the weeks roll by, they find a rhythm in and out of the … Read more
The COVID Conundrum: If you had classic symptoms of COVID- high fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, cough, shortness of breath, new loss of smell or taste, GI symptoms- but a negative test, no test, or negative antibodies, did you REALLY have COVID?
And, well,…does it matter?
First: Yes, you can have COVID without testing positive (but also, maybe not).
- As with many diagnoses in medicine (like flu and strep), your doctor’s clinical judgement
Setting: Beautiful small town, high up in the Colorado mountains, where we’ve been very much isolated and socially distanced in our home for several weeks…except that ONE day, six days earlier, when our older daughter and I had our “big outing”. After dropping off my husband at the small town airport, we made a quick Target run, ate lunch outside of a restaurant in another small town (sitting at an isolated table), and in the process, used two public restrooms, including the highly trafficked one at the airport. We wore cloth masks the whole time except while eating, and sanitized … Read more
Know anyone zooming to classes for hours on end (like a college student, friend or family member complaining about Zoom Fatigue?) Please share these easy five tips!
ZOOM FATIGUE is for real, not an “in your head” kind of thing. As opposed to in person classes or meetings, your attention (or at least the appearance of your attention) is NONSTOP, making you much more mentally drained than “real life.” So what can you do?
1. Step number one, stop looking at yourself! No joke, we are unconsciously drawn to our own face, so your brain keeps trying to … Read more
Last month, while doing a podcast with the AMAZING Your Empty Nest Coach, Christine, she asked what I thought belonged in a COVID “Go” Bag- like the bag you have ready to grab when you are extremely pregnant and ready for the hospital. While most of the items are common sense, having a checklist will help you be sure you have everything you need before you head off to quarantine (or to the hospital.) I love that Christine created this printable check list with everything we discussed!
Let me HIGHLIGHT a few items:
Health Insurance Card– your student should … Read more
Ten years ago, I blended my craft-loving, Girl Scout leader “always be prepared” skills with my family medicine physician experience to create a practical high school graduation gift- a college first aid kit. That first kit had basic essentials for cuts and colds, a thermometer, an ACE wrap, and a few assorted remedies for seasonal allergies, migraines, and heartburn. I stuck a little index card inside that had a few tips about when to use what (like Tylenol vs Advil). Each year, I added more items and instructions, as our friends’ kids began using these kits and texting me for … Read more