Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Regular medical screenings and exams are vital to health and happiness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked health and wellness havoc among Americans beyond the 800,000 (and counting) virus death toll, 250,000 hospitalizations and tens of thousands of cases of long-term effects. COVID-19 also has had an indirect, but still sobering, impact on other, unrelated medical conditions. In September 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing that in the earliest months of the pandemic, one-third of American adults had skipped out on both urgent medical care and routine exams, screenings and follow-ups (think mammograms, blood pressure checks, dental cleanings and the like) because of lockdowns, quarantines and anxieties about the virus.

But this is a behavioral problem that has deeper roots that precede the pandemic: A story coincidentally published by CNBC on March 12, 2020—the day the nation began to shut down—revealed that one in four Americans had skipped routine medical care in the prior year because of concerns about its cost...

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