Written by Bernie Carr
The cold season has started. Health officials are worried this winter may bring about a triple whammy of severe colds, flu in addition to COVID-19. The ever present risk of COVID-19 is bad enough, but this season, people may be facing a severe cold and flu season as well.
Why are doctors worried?
Very few people caught the flu in 2020 because of the lockdowns. Because of this, health experts say that Americans have built up less immunity to colds and flu.
While a feared collision of infections remained at bay last winter, viruses will have more potential to spread this fall in venues opening up again. This has medical staff worried that flu and covid-19 admissions could surge together in the next few months.The Washington Post
The “super cold”
According to the BBC, many people in the UK are already suffering from this “super cold.” They describe their symptoms as been a lot worse than a “normal cold.”
“Why is this happening?,” you might ask. The theory behind it is, since people became unaccustomed to fighting off the common cold, their immune systems don’t recognize the viruses and are not fighting them off as well.
What does the CDC recommend?
COVID-19, colds and flu have some similar symptoms including: Sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, sneezing, fatigue. You can also have a cough and fever. COVID-19 causes changes in smell and taste in some individuals. It’s not easy to tell the difference, therefore you’ll have to get tested to find out what is you have.
Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal flu (most often just called “flu”) is caused by infection with one of many influenza viruses that spread annually among people.
Because some symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, people may need to be tested to tell what virus is causing their illness. People can be infected with both a flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. In general, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. Compared with people who have flu infections, people who have COVID-19 can take longer to show symptoms and be contagious for longer. This FAQ page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.SOURCE: CDC
What can you do about it?
Prepare for the cold and flu and season now.
Stock up on sick day supplies
Avoid having to take a trip to the store when you’re already feeling miserable by preparing ahead of time. Here are a few supplies to have on hand to minimize and hopefully shorten a bout with a cold or flu:
- Hand sanitizer
- Boxes of tissues
- Lysol or anti-bacterial spray
- Pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, sore throat lozenges; symptom reliever such as Nyquil, Dayquil or cough medicines
- Nose spray
- Pulse oximeter (to measure oxygen)
- Chicken soup (canned or refrigerated) and plain crackers
- Soothing drinks such as tea, orange juice, apple cider
- Books, audiobooks
- Shows you can binge watch while resting.
Strengthen your immune system
A strong immune system will help you fight against viruses and bacteria that threaten your health. Eat nutritious food, get adequate sleep, exercise regularly are all things you can do to stay healthy. For more tips, see Protect your Health Against Colds, Flu and Coronavirus with a Strong Immune System.
If you do get sick, stay home and rest. Make an appointment to get yourself tested for COVID-19 just to make sure. Don’t try to “tough it out” if you get worse or don’t see any improvement. Seek medical care if you are not feeling better within a couple of days – see a doctor online, or at an urgent care office.
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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.