Just like the song says, “It ain’t over yet.” Actually, the World Health Organization warned Monday, that “the worst is yet ahead,” talking about the coronavirus pandemic.
Six 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 here in California along with in Florida and Texas. In a June 23 hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, called the following handful of weeks “critical” for controlling the spread.
Baby boomers need to pay attention. Although, details about COVID-19 keeps evolving, a very important factor hasn’t changed. Older adults are at high danger of severe illness and death from the coronavirus. Be aware: Eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older, based on the CDC.
With all of this in mind, you may want to take into account a number 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 risk for severe illness from COVID-19, dropping 65 whilst the age-specific threshold for when risk increases in adults. To put it just, as you age, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. While those 85 and older are at the best risk, people in their 50s are generally at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. And people in their 60s or 70s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s.
* The CDC has updated its official set of COVID-19 symptoms. Warning signs of the sickness include: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss 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. Keep in mind, in older adults (aged 65 and older), normal body temperature may be lower than in younger adults. For this reason, fever temperatures can be lower in older adults meaning it might be less noticeable.
* The CDC also clarified which underlying conditions are most related to 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 immunity system, type 2 diabetes, sickle cell disease and heart conditions, such as for instance heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies. To date, the most truly effective 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 these days, but which provide the very best protection? Among the main features you’ll need are multiple layers of fabric, which are much better than just one, 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 will include multiple layers of fabric.” A general rule of thumb is that thicker, denser fabrics can do an improved job than thinner, more loosely woven ones. Flannel pajama material, for instance, that includes a tight weave, might be a wise decision, Wenzel adds. If you intend to purchase a disguise online make sure it’s created using tightly woven fabric and fits snugly, fully covering orally and nose, wrapping under your chin as an anchor.
* Staying healthy is always important, but even much 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 lots of sleep. It is also important to understand to manage with the stress that arises from a pandemic in a wholesome way. Take breaks from the news headlines, embrace your spirituality, stay connected with loved ones, take care 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 the exact same time. A week ago, the CDC’s Redfield urged the public to prepare yourself and “to embrace” the flu vaccine. “This single act helps you to save lives,” he said. The CDC can be creating a test that will 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 dinner out, and gatherings with friends. The more enjoyable, devil-may-care attitude many are displaying at this time may be contagious. However, we boomers must be extra vigilant.
The CDC recommends avoiding activities where taking protective measures might be difficult, such as for instance activities where social distancing can’t be maintained. “Generally, the more individuals you connect to, the more closely you connect to them, and the longer that interaction, the larger your danger of getting and spreading COVID-19,” their site states.