Seven Ways to Protect Yourself From the “Triple-demic” This Winter
As if the last two years weren’t bad enough…
This winter we’re suffering through three (yes, three) pandemic viruses:
- COVID-19: new variants, as well as “covid-fatigue” from various safety measures, have kept COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations at concerning levels this winter.
- Influenza: the measures we took to avoid Covid-19 for the past two-plus years also kept influenza infections low. This winter, however, we’re seeing one of the worst flu seasons in decades, because people have lost their resistance to the flu virus while isolating.
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): this virus has been around forever, and usually causes only minor symptoms. However, unlike Covid-19 and influenza, there is no vaccine for RSV, and humans don’t develop a lasting immunity to it.
These viruses are most dangerous for the very young, the very old, and for people who have a compromised immune system or other pre-existing health issue.
There is good news, though. After more than two years of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we all know how to keep these highly infectious viruses at bay, even if we can’t eliminate them.
Here are seven steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you from the “triple-demic”:
- Wash Your Hands
- Wear a Face Mask When Necessary
- Practice Social Distancing When Appropriate
- Consider Getting Vaccinated
- If You’re Sick, Be Smart
Hand hygiene helps when it comes to avoiding colds and the flu…as well as COVID-19 and RSV. Wash your hands frequently. And after you touch a possibly infected surface, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or wash your hands with soap and hot water. It’s also a good idea to avoid touching your face, unless you know your hands are clean.
This one is particularly important if you’re going to be around people who are at high risk for having complications from these viruses.
Airborne viruses don’t spread well beyond a distance of 6 feet. Masked or not, use this distance as a guide when assessing the risk versus benefit of being in a crowd.
Vaccination is a matter of personal choice, especially for seasonal viruses. Talk to a trusted medical resource to determine what is best for you.
If you think you might be sick, do two things:
- Take a COVID-19 test and/or see your doctor about getting tested for the flu.
- Stay home.
Trying to tough it out just spreads the virus to other people, and it will also make you sicker. Stay in bed, binge watch the shows you’ve been missing, and drink plenty of fluids.
Supplements like vitamins C and D can help your immune system to stay strong.
And check to make sure that your hormones are in balance. Suboptimal estrogen and testosterone levels, in particular, can make your immune system weaker.
If you’re infected with COVID-19, the flu, or RSV, your body needs rest to help it recover.
And if you’re not currently infected, getting enough rest can strengthen your immune system, which can help you avoid getting sick in the first place.
It’s Up to You
Each of these steps is a personal choice.
But if most of us choose to follow most of these steps most of the time, we can limit the damage these viruses can do, particularly when it comes to the most vulnerable among us.
Want to learn more about how to strengthen your immune system?
Call Renew Youth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.