If you are an elderly person, or you know and care about someone that falls into this category, this is a fundamental moment in the pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines are available and are being dispensed. The aged population has been given priority so that their chances of becoming sick are reduced. However, this news comes at a time when there are mutations to the virus which is threatening to accelerate the spread of the virus, adding to the already high levels of infection cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The older an individual the greater their risk of becoming severely ill or dying if they contract the coronavirus, in addition to having certain health conditions such as diabetes or even being overweight, these drive the risk even higher. So, as we enter a second year of dealing with this virus, the elderly might be feeling a combination of anxiety, hope, fear, anger, and resolve. Here is some advice for the older generation to follow as we all go through this time.
Get the Vaccine as soon as possible
The vaccines are safe and will assist you in receiving a bad case of the virus if you become exposed to it. Search for updates on how and when you are able to schedule your appointment from your state, city, or county health department, and the doctor’s office, health system, or pharmacy where you will be able to receive your medications and care. There are some states that have commenced with persons over the age of seventy-five, alongside essential workers of any age, while there have been others that have opened up the vaccination to every and anyone over the age of sixty-five. Persons suffering from specific health conditions are to be next in line. To be able to receive the vaccination, in most cases, you will need an appointment, instead of just driving up to get your shot. Ask for help if you require it, do not be afraid to, especially if you are using an unfamiliar app or website to make the appointment. If there is a patient portal system employed by your health provider’s office or the hospital then set up an account so that notification will be provided to you via this means, and what is more, is that it may allow you to select an appointment date and time as well.
Once You receive the Vaccine, Do Not act as if you have superpowers
Firstly, it might take as much as two weeks for the first dose of the vaccine to instruct your immune system about the coronavirus. Then it takes an additional dose, two to be precise, several weeks apart to be able to receive the complete protection. You might still become severely ill with COVID-19 during these initial weeks if you become exposed to the virus, just prior to or subsequent to receiving the vaccination. However, the vaccine is unable to give you the coronavirus as it does not contain the virus. It is noteworthy, that even after receiving your final dose of the vaccine, it is still possible to contract the virus, even though you won’t become nearly as sick as if you did not get the vaccine. You may also be able to infect others, which makes the following step just vital.
Regardless of if you have received the vaccination, still continue to wear your mask
Continue to wear your masks, avoid non-essential movement, that is taking trips attending gatherings, etc. You should depend on curbside, takeout, and delivery services. The virus is still extensively spreading across most of the United States, so even as more and more persons become vaccinated and it takes effect, it could still take weeks or months for the spreading to slow down. It is vital that individuals continue to do the things that they have been doing or should have been doing from early spring in order to minimize the risks of contracting or spreading the virus. What is most important is that persons do not spend time indoors with others that they do not live with, without wearing a mask that is covering both the mouth and the nose the entire time.
Even though the weather might be cold at this time in many of the states across the country, if you dress appropriately including your mask, you should still be able to explore the park, hike, walk or have a chat with others. If the sun is out, then that is even better, exposure to the rays of the sun has been proven to improve your mood and increase your vitamin D levels. If you meet up with a person that is not in your bubble, meaning that the person does not live with you, then wear your mask and keep your distance physically. It is also vitally important you do not step foot outside if you are aware of coming into contact with someone that has COVID-19 within a two-week span.
Do Not put off regular medical and dental appointments
Neither should you delay any form of emergency care. The health professionals have been trained in how to protect themselves and you from contracting or spreading a disease or virus, especially the coronavirus, even if your appointment involves taking your mask off. As a matter of fact, the health care setting is probably one of the safest places that you could go besides your home. You should not allow the fear of the coronavirus to prevent you from seeking emergency care. However, the medical fraternity has figured out a way to provide a varied range of care through video conferencing or the phone, so leaving your home is optional.
As the coronavirus continues to spread and the vaccinations continue to ramp up, it is vital to know if a person within your bubble becomes sick due to the coronavirus. Read up and research about the virus and ask your medical professionals questions, your health department should also be able to provide you with information regarding this as well.