The cold season will soon be upon us; every measure to avoid the scratchy throat, wet nose, and aching limbs should be explored. As the super cold makes its rounds, the Covid-19 is still a possible threat in all its variants.
It is, therefore, our responsibility to ensure that we steer clear of cold diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common colds are the leading cause for children to miss school and adults to miss work, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As we prepare to battle the winter viruses, we need to arm ourselves with a couple of things first.
- Get a flu vaccine.
It doesn’t always feel like it when we are down with the flu, but the flu does get better on its own. That’s no excuse not to get the flu shot through; 290,000 to 650,000 people die from the flu every year.
The flu vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective—getting the flu shot then is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu. Dr. Soos Pediatrics recommends that you get vaccinated before November begins to enjoy complete protection from the virus.
And if you are 65 years and older, ask for the pneumococcal vaccine that will protect you from pneumonia.
- Wash your hands as often as you can.
At this point, we are all used to washing our hands because of the pandemic. However, some after getting vaccinated have slacked off—to avoid getting a stuffy nose and being bogged down by the cold, practice a little hand hygiene.
And while the cold can be transmitted by invisible droplets of an uncovered sneeze or cough, it is more likely to pick the virus from surfaces. So, before eating, wash your hands with running water and soap.
- Keep your warm but well ventilated.
Winter is coming, and with the chill with it. As these are the cold season viruses, it stands to reason that you should keep your home warm. Ahead of winter, check to see if your heating system is working. But remember, keeping your home warm does not translate to keeping your home stuffy—Make sure your ventilation is in good condition.
- Avoid touching your face and eyes.
We all get the urge to scratch our eyes and subconsciously touch our faces. As long as you have come into contact with any surface, your hands have picked up germs and viruses that can make you ill—wash your hands as much as you can! While these may be innocent habits, the pandemic has proven that these simple acts can be detrimental.
- Clean common surfaces.
As we are active, running errands, going to school, or even going to work, we pick up germs and viruses. To significantly reduce the chances of getting ill, we must wipe down with bleach or disinfectant commonly touched surfaces like the doorknobs, car keys, house keys, remote control, and your phone. In the bathroom, remember to wash the hand towel as often as possible.
- Stay active (and get some fresh air.)
When the cold season comes knocking, let it not find you resting—let it find you on your feet keeping fit. Active people generally have fewer infections during the cold season. Research has shown that people who exercise for 30-60 minutes on most days of the week have a 40% reduction in sick days during the cold season.
- Stay hydrated.
It is a commonly held misconception that hydration should only be a point of focus during the summer. Winter hydration is a real thing that could affect the way your body functions. Drinking water daily does not guarantee that you will not get sick; it only helps your body fight off illnesses better. Besides, hydration will keep your nose moist enough to catch some pathogens.
It is almost impossible to tell the difference between the common cold, flu, and Covid. To protect yourself, imagine you are fighting all three with the same tools and methods—that should make it easier! When the pandemic hit last year, Covid had distinct characteristics, but as the virus has continued to mutate, the symptoms have also mutated—with symptoms closer to the common cold.