Our good club member Riina Vettus, head of the cardiology department at the North-Estonian Regional Hospital, writes to club members about the effects of the coronavirus on the body and heart and urges golfers to take time to recover and not rush into a heavy golfing schedule to avoid long-term problems. 

Unfortunately, the world has been in various stages of lock down for a whole year now, and this difficult situation will probably continue for some time to come. There is a lot of information about the COViD-19 pandemic - we get more than enough figures about the lives of those who are ill, hospitalized, vaccinated and also lost to the virus on TV and the media every day. However, the soul also longs for positive vibes and beautiful spring weather invites you to play sports again but remember good golfer, despite washing your hands and wearing a mask you can still get sick with covid. So let’s evaluate our well-being a bit before starting full-time sports.

 Have you noticed that exercise is not quite the same as before? Or do you often feel palpitations and get tired quickly? Acute covid infection usually lasts for 4 weeks after the onset of the first signs of the disease. The symptoms that persist after the acute illness are called "long-covid". This term is used to describe the effects of COVID-19 on prolonged disease. The most common long-term symptoms are fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, mental problems, sleep disorders, impaired lung function and the so-called COVID `brain fog`. And it has been observed that people with mild covid may also have the same symptoms. Long-covid symptoms are present in all age groups, including children. Thus, despite experiencing a mild case of the disease, many health problems can interfere with normal life for many months to come. According to various studies, 8% of patients with covid have been diagnosed with heart damage. And they were healthy people without previous heart disease in the past. In September 2020, Ohio University released data on 26 young covid athletes. All of them had moderate symptoms last spring. Four of them had a characteristic finding of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) on a magnetic examination of the heart 3 months later. Such changes can have fatal consequences, especially in relation to exercise. The American College of Cardiology has developed a return-to-play algorithm for this purpose, which the doctor should take into account before allowing the patient to exercise again. Recently there has been positive news regarding the reduction of morbidity / reduction of patients in need of hospital treatment. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before normal life is restored. 

Don't forget that if you come from a golf trip, the 10-day isolation requirement also applies to you for now

- sick quarantine

- 10 days of isolation from close contact

- Wear a mask and be sure to get vaccinated when the opportunity arises. 

Wishing you a beautiful summer and a successful golf season.

Riina Vettus
head of the cardiology department at the North-Estonian Regional Hospital 
EGCC club member

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