Just like the song says, “It ain’t over yet.” Actually, the World Health Organization warned Monday, that “the worst is yet to come,” discussing the coronavirus pandemic.
6 months since the new coronavirus outbreak, and the death toll has surpassed 500,000 with the number of confirmed infections topping 10 million. In the U.S., several states recorded record highs this week, including where I live in California in addition to in Florida and Texas. In a June 23 hearing prior to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, called another couple of weeks “critical” for controlling the spread.
Baby boomers need to pay for attention. Although, information about COVID-19 keeps evolving, one thing hasn’t changed. Older adults are at high risk of severe illness and death from the coronavirus. Take notice: Eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have already been among adults aged 65 years and older, according to the CDC.
With all of this in mind, you might want to think about a few of the latest CDC updates for older adults:
* If you’re under 65 and think you’re from the woods, think again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June expanded its warning of who is most at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, dropping 65 since the age-specific threshold for when risk increases in adults. To place it really, as you age, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. While those 85 and older are at the maximum risk, people inside their 50s are often at higher risk for severe illness than people inside their 40s. And people inside their 60s or 70s are at higher risk for severe illness than people inside their 50s.
* The CDC has updated its official list of COVID-19 symptoms. Warning signs of the illness include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new lack of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; and diarrhea โควิด. Symptoms that need immediate medical attention include: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; and bluish lips or face. Remember, in older adults (aged 65 and older), normal body temperature may be less than in younger adults. Because of this, fever temperatures can also be lower in older adults which means it might be less noticeable.
* The CDC also clarified which underlying conditions are most associated with COVID-19 hospitalizations and death. On the expanded list: chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obesity (BMI of 30 or higher), a weakened immune protection system, type 2 diabetes, sickle cell disease and heart conditions, such as for example heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies. To date, the very best three underlying health conditions among coronavirus patients are cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
* With the rising rate of infections, let’s talk masks. They have some cool looking cloth face coverings nowadays, but which offer the best protection? One of the most important features you will need are multiple layers of fabric, which are a lot better than only 1, Richard Wenzel, M.D., infectious diseases epidemiologist and emeritus professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. states in articles for Consumers Reports. Mayo Clinic agrees that “cloth masks includes multiple layers of fabric.” A general guideline is that thicker, denser fabrics is going to do an improved job than thinner, more loosely woven ones. Flannel pajama material, for example, that includes a tight weave, might be a great option, Wenzel adds. If you intend to purchase a mask online make certain it is created using tightly woven fabric and fits snugly, fully covering your mouth and nose, wrapping under your chin as an anchor.
* Staying healthy is obviously important, but even way more during this pandemic. The CDC recommends that older adults receive recommended flu and pneumonia vaccinations, eat healthy, stay active, avoid excessive alcohol use, and get a lot of sleep. It’s also important to master to cope with the stress that comes from a pandemic in a healthy way. Take breaks from the news, embrace your spirituality, stay connected with family members, take the time to unwind and take action you enjoy, and practice deep breathing.
* Federal health officials are bracing for the fall, when the flu and COVID-19 will be circulating at exactly the same time. The other day, the CDC’s Redfield urged people to be prepared and “to embrace” the flu vaccine. “This single act will save lives,” he said. The CDC can also be having a test that can simultaneously test for flu and COVID-19.
So, are we having any fun yet?
Yes, I understand. That is hard. We miss our grandchildren, concerts in the park, eating out, and gatherings with friends. The more relaxed, devil-may-care attitude most are displaying right now may be contagious. However, we boomers must certanly be extra vigilant.
The CDC recommends avoiding activities where taking protective measures might be difficult, such as for example activities where social distancing can’t be maintained. “Generally, the more folks you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,” their site states.