Tips From a Doctor Who Survived COVID-19

Dr. Gina Conflitti, chief medical officer for Medicare products at Cigna.

(StatePoint) No matter how strictly you follow the rules, those with firsthand experience know that anyone can get COVID-19.

“Given my role helping shape COVID-19 policies and procedures since the pandemic surfaced, I know the rules better than most: wear a mask, limit social gatherings, stay six feet apart and so on,” says Dr. Gina Conflitti, chief medical officer for Medicare products at Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health care insurers. “Like many others, I did my best to follow the safety guidance. Yet, in late November 2020, I contracted the virus and faced months of recovery.”

While Dr. Conflitti hopes this doesn’t happen to others, she offers the following advice to those who do contract COVID-19:

• COVID-19 impacts everyone differently. There are those who cruise through COVID-19 with no symptoms while others have mild symptoms. Some people literally fight for their lives. Don’t expect to have the same experience as others, and be sure to communicate with your doctor about the best treatment approach.

• Don’t get caught in the blame game. Once you contract COVID-19, there’s a tendency to blame yourself. Or you might blame others for infecting you. Many never find out how they were exposed. While contact tracing is important, don’t waste time blaming yourself or others. Save your energy for recovery.

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. COVID-19 is humbling, and even active, independent people may suddenly need help with normal daily activities, like getting groceries and medicines. People want to help, so don’t hesitate to ask so you can concentrate on recovering.

• Take care of your mental health. COVID-19 is isolating and can cause depression and anxiety. Stay connected with friends and family safely via phone or video calls. Talk to a professional if things become too difficult to manage on your own. You may have access to behavioral health support through your medical insurance or Medicare plan.

• Listen to your body. There’s no good time to get sick. Nevertheless, it’s important to listen to your body before returning to work, school and daily activities. Don’t rush it. Prepare by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins or supplements if your doctor recommends and reducing stress.

• Pay it forward. Even with all the bad things COVID-19 brings, it’s also revealed some of the best aspects of humanity. Pay kindness forward by showing gratitude to clinicians, teachers, restaurant and grocery store workers and others who courageously give their best so our lives are better during this pandemic.

• Get the vaccine. Take control of your health by getting vaccinated. Follow your local health department news, and get your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as medically approved. It’s available at no cost and critical to ensuring your safety and the safety of others.

For Cigna's COVID-19 resources, visit cigna.com/coronavirus.

“It’s been a difficult time for all of us, but I’m confident the most challenging days are behind us. Stay safe, follow safety procedures and get vaccinated. The only way we can move forward is if we do it together,” says Dr. Conflitti.

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About Cigna

Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth companies or their affiliates, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 185 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis, Inc., HealthSpring Life & Health Insurance Company, Inc., HealthSpring of Florida, Inc., Bravo Health Mid-Atlantic, Inc., and Bravo Health Pennsylvania, Inc. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. Cigna complies with applicable Federal Civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Cigna cumple con las layes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo.  English: ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Spanish: ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Chinese: 注意:如果您使用繁體/中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務 請致電1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Cigna is contracted with Medicare for PDP plans, HMO and PPO plans in select states, and with select State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in Cigna depends on contract renewal. © 2021 Cigna

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