As I sat down to write today’s blog, it seems that the topic that is on many people’s mind is the coronavirus or Covid 19.
As some of you may know, I often write/present about being better prepared and understanding options in advance is my preferred message. So I thought today’s blog would discuss some things we can do to prepare ourselves and our aging relatives to avoid getting ill if at all possible and getting ourselves prepared should we get sick.
As of Feb 28, 2020, “public health officials say 14 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been diagnosed in Canada so far, with seven cases reported in Ontario and seven in British Columbia. One presumptive positive case has been reported in Quebec.”
While our numbers are not as high as other countries, we are being proactive.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely and is the best source of information. The CDC is urging individuals to stay calm and Share Facts, Not Fear. Among the CDC’s advice are these common-sense tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
It’s also important to remember that we are still in the middle of the seasonal flu season, which impacts older adults every year. According to the CDC, it’s estimated that 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people aged 65+.
While there is no vaccine for the coronavirus, it’s never too late for individuals to get their annual flu shot. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how you can protect yourself and those around you.
Dr. Vera Etches, the City of Ottawa’s top health office Shared that in terms of being prepared, we should think about being home for a period of time which would include stocking up on needed prescriptions ahead of time so there is no need to do so during a possible pandemic. She also recommended people stock up on non-perishable food.
If you are caring for someone and are not feeling well, stay home and see who can provide coverage for you.