Health is top of mind for everyone right now as we continue forward with the pandemic.
It’s more important than ever to remain vigilant, keep informed, and protect yourself and your community from harm. This protection though is no longer limited just to the Covid-19 crisis because it’s also flu season.
This year has been devastating and scary for so many people. I probably don’t need to remind you of this, but even as we close out 2020 with amazing vaccination progress, we are far from out of the woods. Cases are rising, and people are still tragically losing their lives worldwide. Personally, the pandemic has been a constant source of anxiety for me, as I have family members who are considered high risk and I worry about them every day. It remains that way for so many.
So while Covid-19 is still a very real and active threat, it’s important to remember that this is still flu season as well.
According to the CDC, “Between October 1, 2019, and April 4, 2020, the flu resulted in 39 to 56 million illnesses. 410,000 to 740,000 hospitalizations. 24,000 to 62,000 deaths.”
It’s still a concern we need to prioritize with all the health precautions needed this winter season.
Health is something that’s on my mind all the time. As a self-proclaimed hypochondriac, I was hand-washing and sanitizing long before this year’s pandemic. So I know first hand the positive impact it can have. Here are five simple tips I have lived by before/during the pandemic and that you should continue to prioritize in flu season well.
Stay hopeful, stay safe and stay healthy.
Here are five daily, intentional actions for helping you do just that.
1. Wash your hands.
This is one of the most important things you can do.
According to FamilyDoctor.org, handwashing remains the No 1. Tip for preventing the spread of flu. However, it must be done properly and with soap and water. And when soap and water are not available, the next best option is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
You never know who you’re going to come in contact with; as that person may have had the flu, covid-19 or another illness. Hand hygiene is a very important way to stay healthy and prevent illness.
2. Get a flu shot.
Aside from handwashing, this is another very important tip to help prevent yourself from contracting and spreading the flu. Some people abhor needles, and some are allergic to the ingredients added in the vaccine.
The recent debate around the COVID-19 vaccine has again drawn attention to the widespread fear and distrust in vaccinations. This has impacted flu vaccinations year after year as well.
It’s important to know the facts about the influenza vaccine and make the decision to receive the shot with the guidance of a medical professional if you are concerned. Also, according to an article written in ScientificAmerican.com, a flu shot might reduce Coronavirus infections early as well. If you’re someone who typically doesn’t get the flu shot, it’s definitely worthy of consideration this year more than ever.
3. Wear a face mask.
This has been a controversial issue everywhere you go; as some people think that a mask does not help to prevent the virus in general, and some think it can help to prevent it. In the current state of the pandemic, a mask is required to enter most establishments and businesses. There is significant scientific evidence to support that mask-wearing slows the spread of viruses like COVID-19 and influenza.
Look, I am not a fan of the masks either, but I just wear them to keep myself and others safe. Now not just from COVID, but sickness all together—in a time when we need to protect our health more than ever.
4. Clean your home and common areas.
This is similar to hand hygiene. Always clean your surroundings. Keep a tidy and disinfected home, especially in commonplace areas like the kitchen, bathrooms and living rooms.
I am ALSO not a big fan of cleaning…I just abhor it.
But in this crisis right now, I have become a super-cleaner in an effort to keep my home free of germs; so my family and I don’t get sick.
Besides, with social distancing still being an important measure in the war on COVID, there is more time spent at home making it a clean, cozy and safe oasis from the world outside.
5. Maintain a healthy diet, take your vitamins and get some exercise.
I know, I know. It’s the season of takeout and Netflix binges.
But your nutrition and daily habits are so important, even when it comes to combatting the flu.
Eat right: You need your protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grain and more to complete a healthy diet and fuel a healthy immune system.
Now you’re probably thinking, that’s boring. But fruits don’t have to be boring. I personally love smoothies and yogurts. And veggies can go in soups and a side item with your favorite dinner.
Take your vitamins: According to ncbi.gov, they also recommend taking vitamins (particularly Vitamin D and C) during the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season to further arm your immune system against viral threats.
Get moving: Exercise and daily activity are critical to having a healthy immune system, as well as to your mental health and overall wellness. Check out the article below for some workout ideas on a budget that you can easily do at home.
Stay safe: These five tips may seem simple, but they can make a big difference in your life this flu season.