If this is anything like the fall of 2020, few people will probably worry about flu season in light of a surge in COVID cases popping up all over the country. The one thing that may kindle at least a spark of interest in the masses would be that more and more people are getting vaccinated against the pandemic. As greater numbers of people go out shopping, attempting to get back some semblance of normalcy, it is important to remember that there are other bugs out there. Influenza is just one family of those nasty little critters. So then, the question becomes, how ready are you for flu season 2021? Let’s run down a brief checklist.
1. Have You Been Vaccinated?
If you haven’t already gotten the flu shot, it’s time to consider doing so. Bear in mind that this is a totally different family of viruses from SARS-CoV-2 so that immunization will not protect you against influenza. One thing you need to consider here is that this year’s shot may not be the same formulation as last year’s. Each year the shots are based on the exact strains they expect to be circulating. Talk to your doctor about whether you should get vaccinated.
2. Do You Have a Safe Provider?
In many regions around the country there are insufficient land-based clinics to be seen at during this time. Some physicians are also converting all their in-office visits to telehealth online digital access. If you have been reading all the crazy telehealth myths circulating the internet, the one thing you may want to bear in mind is that they are just that, myths. If telehealth couldn’t offer accurate assessments, diagnoses and treatments, do you honestly think your doctor would meet with you in that way? Yes, they are safe and there are only a few reasons why a doctor may opt to see you in person.
3. Do You Have Sufficient N95 Masks?
Don’t forget to don those masks when you go out in public! Remember, COVID isn’t the only airborne virus out there and we would all do well to keep that in mind.
4. Do You Have OTC Cold/Flu Medications on Hand?
There are also a number of cold and flu remedies out there that ‘might’ give you some relief. However, that really is all you can expect. Once you’ve caught the virus, only prescription antivirals can offer some amount of healing. Also, too many people last year fell prey to COVID thinking that a sore throat and cough was just the flu. If you have very mild symptoms, take a cold remedy but the moment you spike a fever or have other stronger symptoms, contact your provider. They can’t help you unless they know you are sick.
Don’t Forget Those Often Overlooked Odds and Ends
As a final, but very important takeaway, don’t forget all those little odds and ends. If you live alone, make sure you have an emergency contact who will follow up if they don’t hear from you regularly. Also, make sure you have at least a week to ten-day supply of foods and paper goods in the house in case you do get the flu. There is no way you’ll want to go shopping when you are sick. Don’t let the flu catch you off guard. It’s up to you to protect yourself and today is the day to do just that. “Also, do not forget about your babies – make sure they’re getting quality nutrition to build up their immune system.