Influenza and COVID-19: 6 Tips for Coping with a Twindemic

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Influenza and COVID-19 vaccine

Influenza and COVID-19: 6 Tips for Coping with a Twindemic

As we head into the holiday season and cold weather causes people to gather indoors, health officials are hoping to lessen the spread of the influenza and COVID-19 viruses, or in other words, a twindemic. While few cases of influenza were reported in 2020, likely due to COVID-19 safety precautions, it is unlikely to happen again. Experts say, there is less natural immunity against influenza due to last year’s precautions and the best way to protect oneself is with an Influenza and COVID-19 vaccine.

For people 65 years and older, the influenza and COVID-19 vaccine are especially important. Seniors are often at higher risk of developing serious complications, especially those who have underlying health conditions or are immunocompromised. The best way for the older population to protect themselves this holiday and winter season is with a vaccine. The CDC recommends that while viruses are spreading, vaccinations should continue.

If you plan on gathering with others for the holidays, it’s good to remember that when people are out and about, the flu and COVID-19 viruses may also be present. You can reduce your chance of catching one of these viruses and the symptoms that come with them through some health measures. The great news is that many of the ways to protect yourself from the flu can also help protect you from COVID-19. Here are six tips for staying healthy during the holiday season and winter months:

Get vaccinated. Almost all adults should get the Influenza and COVID-19 vaccine—also known as the flu shot. Speak with your doctor about which flu vaccine is right for you and your family. If it has been 6 months since your last COVID-19 injection, schedule your booster. Our 25 Clinical Care medical and wellness centers are equipped and ready to administer vaccines, as part of our plan to protect our members and community. Our physicians and care teams are available to answer any questions you may have regarding the recommended vaccine protocols.  As Benjamin Franklin so famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Wash your hands frequently. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap, especially after touching common shared objects like doorknobs, elevator buttons and handsets. If water and soap are not available, hand sanitizer is a great alternative. 

Keep your areas clean. After the past year, we are all experts on cleanliness. Clean regularly touched areas with disinfectants and wipe down high-touch areas in your home. When travelling, it is a good practice to bring sanitizing wipes to ensure the cleanliness of the public spaces you are using. 

Eat nutritious food and sleep well. Make an effort to prepare nutritious food – aim for whole grains, proteins and fruits and vegetables with bright colors. For healthy eating tips and recipes, check out this article. Healthy eating will help your body fight illnesses faster. Additionally, it’s also important to drink plenty of water and get restful sleep each night. If you’re feeling tired, listen to what your body’s telling you and get some additional sleep.

Exercise. When you move your body and sleep well, virus-fighting agents increase. Not only will you gain the benefit of fighting off the flu and COVID-19, exercise helps to manage chronic illnesses you may suffer from too. Exercise is possible at any age. It just may look a little different for a 25 year old and an 80 year old. Be sure to consult your Primary Care Physicians and Specialists to develop a plan that is best for you. 

Practice health and safety measures. Continue to follow the recommended health and safety measures, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, maintaining physical distances, and limiting the size of group gatherings, especially those indoors. 

Not feeling well? Contact a Clinical Care physician. If you’re experiencing flu or COVID-19 symptoms, unusual pain, high fevers, worsening symptoms or symptoms lasting more than 10 to 14 days, consult a doctor immediately. Remember, if you want to discuss your symptoms, Clinical Care physicians are available online through secure video (aka: telehealth) from the comfort of your own home. Our urgent care hotlines are also available 24/7.

With the start of the holiday season, we look forward to spending quality time with friends and loved ones. Do your part to keep you and your family safe by getting the Influenza and COVID-19 vaccine and booster. Our Clinical Care medical and wellness centers are equipped and ready to administer vaccines, as part of our plan to protect our members and community. Our care teams are here for you. Call us at 800-831-4424 and make an appointment today.