It has been a long and difficult two years as we inch our way out of a global pandemic. COVID-19 had impacts that many haven't even thought about and some that are longstanding.

The past few years have been filled with mask mandates, closures and different variants of the virus that have left all of us on edge and at times, feeling isolated. Another big impact on COVID-19 has been the lack of our normal routine.

Many worked from home since March of 2020 and some continue to do so. With so much unknown, many also opted out or weren't able to keep up with their regular routine, including seeing the doctor or the dentist.

Things like this may seem small but two years into the pandemic and counting, it is easy to forget what "normal" felt like or what our new normal is. Whatever the answer, it may be taking a big toll on our physical health.

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For this reason, Essentia Health has issued a reminder to patients and Northlanders alike to make physical health a priority once again. They want to remind everyone to "check in" on their health even if they don't think anything is wrong.

Essentia Health cites warmer temperatures and better weather as a reason for the reminder, stating that people's schedules pick up in the spring and summertime and things get busy. That is why now is the best time to make sure your health is in check .

With a decline in overall cases relating to COVID-19, it is a good time to get caught up on all the appointments you may have missed due to the pandemic over the past few years. It is also a good way to take preventative measures for the future.

Along with this reminder, Essentia Health officials shared an amazing story of a patient who was diagnosed with a heart murmur during a normal check-up with her doctor. She didn't think anything was wrong with her and could have opted to ditch the appointment. Instead, the appointment may have saved her life.

So whether you have an ailment that is bothering you or you simply need your annual check-up, it is a good idea to make that appointment and get it over with so you can put your mind at ease and enjoy the nicer weather (should that ever head our way in the Twin Ports. Ha!)

I definitely get very nervous going to the doctor or the dentist but it has made me feel better to keep doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether virtually or in person. Nobody likes the possibility of being told something is wrong but there is nothing better than putting your mind at ease and checking it off your to-do list.

As mentioned, COVID-19 has had some big impacts on our mental and physical health but it has also led to some strange headlines as well. For example, back in October, it was revealed that escalator-related injuries were on the rise.

Why? The issue was directly linked to people not wanting to touch the handrail of the escalator for fear of germs. I know that I won't ever touch said handrail ever again now that I realize just how gross those things are.

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