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COVID-19 doesn’t care how old you are

Dr. Christensen discusses how younger adults are not immune to the virus

As society reopens and more of us venture back into public, it is important to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 through hand washing, keeping a safe distance, wearing cloth face masks and following other guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While we know older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions are at the highest risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, the virus can also make otherwise young and healthy people very sick.

Dr. Jacob Christensen joined the Gritman | Moscow Family Medicine team this past fall at our Vandal Health Clinic, where he helps to ensure students, faculty and staff at the University of Idaho have quick and easy access to great health care. He also works with UI athletics as a team physician. He is currently seeing patients at Vandal Health through telemedicine appointments and in person at QuickCARE. He is also assisting at our Mobile Respiratory Unit outside Gritman Medical Center’s emergency entrance. The MRU helps keep the hospital safe by seeing patients with respiratory and COVID-like symptoms is a separate area.

He reminds young adults they too are at risk from COVID-19 and that it is paramount to not delay their other non-COVID-19 health care needs. It is just as important as ever to lead a healthy lifestyle, to get your routine checkups and screenings, and to stay current on immunizations, like your flu shot.

“If you look at preventative health care by age groups, different people have different needs. With younger people, we worry about their immunizations, making sure they are getting proper cervical cancer screenings, sexual health screenings, those types of things,” he said. “We also focus on diet, lifestyle and making sure people are setting themselves up for success.”

It is also important to not ignore your mental health. In addition to all the normal stresses in our lives, we are all now fighting new pressures and social isolation in a new COVID-19 world.

“You should also stay on top of your mental health, especially during a crisis like this. People get depressed and anxious, and those are issues we can address,” Dr. Christensen said.

For those nervous about being exposed to COVID-19, you can be assured our clinics are completely safe. Learn more here.

“Our clinics have pretty strict standards about how they address people as they come in for visits,” Dr. Christensen said. “If you go to public places, there’s not going to be all those measures in place.”

While our clinics are safe, you now have the option of scheduling a telemedicine appointment with your provider. You can get the same great services and care, all from the comfort of your own home. Learn more about telemedicine here.

“Obviously there are some things that need to be seen in person because we need to do a physical exam,” Dr. Christensen said, “but there’s a lot of things we can take care of through telemedicine.”

Dr. Christensen is board certified in family medicine and offers sports physicals, non-operative treatment of sports injuries, joint injections, ultrasound-guided injections and more. He received his undergraduate degree at Idaho State University and his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency at Central Washington Family Medicine Residency.

To learn more about how Gritman is working to keep you safe, go to gritman.org/coronavirus.

Schedule an in-person or telemedicine appointment today: