If you’re tired of gloom-and-doom stories about the pandemic, you’re not alone. So, let’s take a look at an unexpected benefit that pandemic living has brought our way!
Pandemic precautions help beyond COVID-19
In addition to getting vaccinated, the main advice we’ve been asked to follow since COVID-19 hit the world is to:
- Wash our hands frequently
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others
- Wear a face mask
Handwashing, something we should always be doing, took on added importance during the pandemic. But physical distancing and masking were new in the U.S. With all three of these, a curious thing happened — people found they were getting sick with other illnesses less often.
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine tells this story in more detail. The researchers looked at the number of children hospitalized for all types of respiratory illness within 44 pediatric hospitals. They found that the number had dropped by 62 percent during the pandemic!
Fewer adults got sick last year as well. In April 2020, the number of lab-confirmed cases of the flu suddenly dropped – that was just a few weeks after authorities declared a pandemic and asked the public to start masking up and avoiding people outside their immediate household. It’s believed that lockdowns and other pandemic precautions may have shortened our flu season by more than a month.
Keeping up the good work
Now that we know the COVID-19 precautions we’ve been taking have help protect us from the flu and other infectious diseases, these precautions can be tools for you to use moving forward!
Even if you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, there will be times when it makes sense to wear a mask for extra protection, such as:
- When your community is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, especially of a variant like Delta
- In large crowds
- Around someone whose immune system may be compromised, such as someone undergoing cancer treatment or who has chronic respiratory disease
- When requested to protect others, such as at your doctor’s office
If you do feel under the weather, please wear a mask to help prevent any possible illness from spreading to others, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. With precautions, you’re more likely to enjoy a healthier winter season in the coming months.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to your primary care provider if you don’t feel well and to keep up with your regular health checks and important screenings.
Learn about the primary care services we offer and find a provider near you.
Also, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is the best way you can avoid severe illness and protect those around you. Learn more about our ministry’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts.