U of M Expert Alert: Living with COVID-19 in 2022

Assistant Professor Beth Thielen (Left), Associate Professor Kaz Nelson (Right)

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (08/08/2022) — After more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a full return to “normal” feels out of reach. People have become more accustomed to large social gatherings despite COVID-19 cases still being reported in high numbers

Drs. Beth Thielen and Kaz Nelson with the University of Minnesota Medical School and M Health Fairview share tips for staying safe and moving forward with an infectious disease that appears to be here to stay.

Beth Thielen M.D., Ph.D.

“Heading into last summer, many people were quite optimistic that the COVID-19 vaccines were going to completely halt transmission, and return to normal pre-pandemic life was just around the corner. With the emergence of the Delta and then Omicron variants, we realized that those expectations were too ambitious. While a future free of COVID-19 may not be realistic, we now have many tools at our disposal — masks, vaccines, and treatments — that can allow us to return to relatively normal activities if they are used wisely.” 

Contact Information

Beth Thielen
Assistant Professor, U of M Medical School and M Health Fairview
thie0149@umn.edu

Dr. Thielen is a physician-scientist trained in adult and pediatric infectious diseases. She joined the faculty in pediatrics in 2020 and is developing a translational research program focused on the molecular epidemiology and viral pathogenesis of human respiratory viral infections, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. She also has interests in clinical immunology, the role that host genetic variation plays in the response to infectious diseases and the global burden of respiratory infections.

Kaz Nelson, M.D.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed the mental health of Americans. COVID-19 can directly injure the brain, causing acute and chronic mental illness. A protracted crisis response can result in chronic stress, which also increases the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illness. This is true now and will continue into the future as we face surges and prepare for future pandemics. We must work together to reduce the spread of disease, integrate scientific evidence into public health initiatives and promote an informed public.”

Kaz Nelson
Associate Professor, U of M Medical School and M Health Fairview
kjnelson@umn.edu

Dr. Nelson is certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Nelson’’s clinical interests lie in the area of best practices in diagnosing and managing severe personality disorders, suicide and psychotherapeutic communication with patients. Dr. Nelson serves in the position of Associate Designated Institutional Official, a role with leadership responsibilities across residency and fellowship programs at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

 

-30-

About “Expert Alert"
University of Minnesota experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Find selected experts on UMN’s Experts Guide or send requests to unews@umn.edu

About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. We acknowledge that the U of M Medical School, both the Twin Cities campus and Duluth campus, is located on traditional, ancestral and contemporary lands of the Dakota and the Ojibwe, and scores of other Indigenous people, and we affirm our commitment to tribal communities and their sovereignty as we seek to improve and strengthen our relations with tribal nations. For more information about the U of M Medical School, please visit med.umn.edu

 

Share this post

Related News