With fall approaching fast, we can expect this year’s flu season to arrive in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. With no widely available vaccine in sight, just about everyone is concerned about what this year’s flu season will look like on top of a global pandemic. Will it be worse? Better? Somewhere in the middle? How can we protect our healthcare?
While there are few ways to accurately predict the severity of a flu season, let’s dive into some of the things we can expect to see in healthcare this year:
“The worst fall…we’ve ever had”
This quote comes directly from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a recent interview with CBS News, director Dr. Robert Redfield notes that this might be the “worst fall from a public health perspective that we’ve ever had.”
After all, the CODIV-19 coronavirus is a strain of the virus that causes the flu. Both are transmitted through respiratory droplets. In fact, one of the major problems that doctors and researchers are concerned about is that the flu has similar qualities to COVID-19. As such, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for doctors to tell the difference between the two when the patient first comes in. After all, both result in coughing, aches, and fever. It will likely pose a significant challenge to doctors juggling both illnesses at this time. The best way to prevent such an issue from happening is by getting the flu shot.
Perhaps even more concerning is that we don’t know what happens if an individual with COVID-19 is infected with the flu. This comorbidity has the potential to wreak havoc on the body — or not. With such a small test pool from the southern hemisphere (which has already had its flu season), it’s difficult to tell if the viruses significantly impacted each other.
Luckily, following the current social distancing guidelines, along with wearing masks, can be a great way to cut down on the number of cases this fall. Paired with the potentiality that we might see a COVID-19 vaccine before the start of next year, this spells good news for concerned families across the country. Getting your flu shot, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing can stop the worst effects of the flu from ravaging the population on top of the pandemic from COVID-19. In fact, these precautions might even lower the tens of thousands of flu cases we see each year.
Stores are already advertising flu shots
If you want to get the flu vaccine sooner than later, you’re not alone. Most people start getting their flu shot throughout the month of October. This coincides nicely with students going back to college and people spending more time indoors because of the colder weather. But because so many people are concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, some stores, like Walgreens and CVS, have already begun to advertise their flu vaccines this summer.
This is unprecedented water for drug stores, according to Forbes. Marketers for CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart decided to start rolling out news regarding flu vaccines in mid-August, well before they usually do. These ads encourage customers to come in sooner than later to get the flu shot. To make up for the expected demand, these stores are also going to increase staffing before the fall flu rush begins.
According to Forbes, you can streamline the process by getting any documentation ready before you go get the flu shot. This should be done whether you opt for your favorite drug store or your local urgent care center. Luckily, the average urgent care has a wait time of around 30 minutes or less, meaning that it won’t take a big chunk out of your day to get done. You can also schedule a safe appointment with your doctor to get one as well.
Contact Care Station Medical for more flu information today
If you’re concerned about the fall flu season or any other part of your healthcare, you’re not alone; families across the country are planning on getting their flu shot sooner than later. When you have a question about your healthcare, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor when you want to learn more.