This is the fifth blog in a series on Stay Safe During The Pandemic.
Do experts think there will be a second wave? What do you need to do to prepare for the second wave of the pandemic; coronavirus, COVID-19, according to experts? Should you get a flu shot or other vaccinations? What else should you do to be ready? Here are 12 tips and recommendations, from experts, on what you should stock up and things you should do to be ready for the second wave. Winter is coming. Cold and flu season is coming. We need to prepare.
September 8, 2020 by Deborah Esplin
Will there be a second wave?
Experts say there will be a second wave. It has already started in some areas of the world. Some countries in Europe have started their second wave as case numbers start to rise. During the summer some areas of Asia started to see coronavirus case numbers rise.
The question that experts can’t answer is how bad will it be? In the Spanish pandemic, the second wave was actually worse than the first. To prevent the second wave being as deadly, experts have the following tips to help you.
What To Do To Prepare For the Second Wave of COVID
One of the key elements of the tips and recommendations below is to reduce the times when you need to leave the house or go to public spaces, reduce your contact with sick people, and have your home and mental outlook prepared for the second wave of coronavirus.
Items To Stock Up On To Prepare For The Pandemic
Stock up on non-perishable foods
It is a good idea to have a one-month supply of non-perishable food in your home so that if you get sick or can not go out for any reason, you will still have the food you need, on hand. If you can stock up on non-perishable foods then you can also reduce the frequency of your visits to the grocery store of the frequency of home deliveries. Look at my article on safe shopping and my article on safe home delivery for more tips.
Stock up on essential medicines
Make sure that you have at least a one-month supply of essential over-the-counter medicines and prescription medicines. Anything you can do to reduce the number and times that you leave the house is a good plan over the next 6 months.
Ensure to have a supply of face masks and hand sanitizer
Stock up on essential supplies like face masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes, if you like to use them. Alternately, you can watch my video on how to make your own surface sanitizer or disinfectant following the recommendations of the Canadian government. Check out the video here.
Stock up on cleaning products
While you are stocking up, also make sure to have at least a one-month supply of soap (dish and hand soap), bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. All of these are good for cleaning surfaces and getting rid of coronavirus. You can check out my blog post, 5 Tips On How To Keep Your Home Safe From COVID, where I talk about how to clean the surfaces in your home to eradicate the COVID-19 virus.
As well, stock up on distilled water if you have essential machines that require it.
Things To Do To Prepare For The Second Wave
Get regular appointments out of the way
As much as possible try to schedule regular appointments to be carried out in the near future so that you get them out of the way before winter, before cold and flu season, and before the second wave really takes hold. Plan your regular appointments like teeth cleaning or dental checkup, regularly scheduled medical appointments, hair cuts, eye doctor visits, etc. for the near future.
This way these regular appointments that you have periodically will be taken care of and you will be able to stay away from these places during the second wave. Of course, this does not apply to emergency needs. Those are important to take care of whenever necessary regardless of the pandemic.
Get a flu shot when it becomes available
Last winter, 2019 to 2020, in the US, there were 39 million cases of the flu minimum and over 24,000 deaths from the flu. Add in the fact that we have coronavirus, COVID-19 circulating in the population, as well, it is a bad recipe. Anything that you can do to reduce your chances of getting the flu and staying healthy will reduce the risk that you get hospitalized for the flu and reduce the chances of your immune system being weakened by getting the flu.
Anything that you can do to prevent a possible hospital stay means the beds are kept free for COVID cases and you reduce your exposure to the virus. Anything that you can do to keep your immune system strong, is also to your benefit.
Get a pneumonia vaccination
If you are prone to pneumonia, get a pneumonia vaccination. The World Health Organization recommends getting vaccinated against respiratory illnesses.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends that children under 2, adults over 65, smokers, and anyone with chronic diseases that affect the lungs, kidneys, or heart get a pneumonia vaccination.
The Center for Disease Control lists some of the illnesses that can result in pneumonia as a primary or secondary illness, where you can get a vaccination: Haemophilus influenza type B, influenza (flu), Measles, Whooping Cough, Pneumococcal, and Chickenpox.
The pneumonia vaccine will not protect you from getting COVID, but it will help protect you from getting pneumonia. Anything that you can do to reduce your chance of getting pneumonia is a good idea. Pneumonia is a very serious illness and you want to protect your lungs and your health.
This vaccination will not stop you from getting COVID but, at least, it will help prevent you from getting other respiratory illnesses that can weaken your lungs and reduce immune system strength.
Continue the behaviour recommendations
Prevention magazine recommends that we continue all of the behaviours and recommendations that were put in the place at the start of the pandemic:
- Keep the required physical/social distance from people that are not living in the same household as you.
- Wear a mask when you are in indoor, public places.
- Do not touch your face when you are outside the home.
- Do not shake hands, kiss, or hug people to greet them when they do not live in your home with you. And if someone in your home is sick, then do hug or kiss them while they are sick.
- Follow all of the recommendations for the area where you live.
Continue frequent hand-washing
Continue following the frequent hand-washing recommendations, especially if you have been out of the home. Also, follow the recommendations for when to sanitize your hands. You can see my blog post here with recommendations. Safe Home Delivery Tips And Should You Wash Your Groceries?
Stay home when you are sick
The CDC recommends that people who are sick, even with a cold or flu, stay home for the first couple of days. It may be hard to tell the difference, in the early days, between COVID symptoms and cold or flu symptoms. In case you do have coronavirus, staying home when you are not sure, helps protect everyone else.
Plus, even if it is a regular cold or flu, by staying home you do not spread those viruses to others. And some people can react much more severely to a regular cold or flu virus. During the pandemic, it is important to be cautious and to protect yourself and everyone else.
Stay informed of requirements and recommendations in your area
Prevention magazine, in the same article reference above, also recommends that you stay aware of the recommendations and requirements to follow in your area. Listen to the news and stay abreast of any changes in requirements to follow.
Mentally prepare yourself
Prevention magazine, in the link above, also recommends that people mentally prepare for the fact that they will need to continue to follow the behaviours and requirements throughout the winter. We need to accept that this is the new normal for a while. The pandemic is still here and we need to mentally adjust and prepare for what this means over the next 6 months.
In the northern hemisphere, winter is coming, lower light levels are coming, harsher weather is coming and people will be indoors more than during the summer. Cold and flu season is coming. The holiday season is coming.
Take the time to mentally prepare for the fact that you may not see family and friends as often or as easily as it was possible during the warmer months. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, and other holidays may become distance celebrations this year. Just as we managed with Easter and Passover in the spring, we will manage these other holidays as well.
We are fortunate to live in the internet era where we do have tools to connect and celebrate remotely. Take full advantage of these tools. Talk to family and friends and plan your distance celebrations.
Consider the resources you need to mentally prepare and gather them around you. Maybe you want to talk about this with family and friends. Maybe this is a time to find a new hoppy, join virtual groups with the same interest and make new friends and connections. Find ways to stay connected with family and friends, even if it is virtual.
We will maybe have to stay away from family for a while. Outdoor gatherings will become harder as the weather gets colder. But It will not be forever. Remember this is a temporary situation. The second wave will not last forever. The pandemic will not last forever. Winter and shorter days will not last forever. The pandemic will end at some point. Winter will turn to spring. So take the second wave day by day. If you do feel you need more support than what you have from family and friends, search it out. Keeping your mind and outlook positive and healthy is very important during this time.
All of these factors will make this winter harder than usual. Mentally prepare for that. It will be tough, but we can get through this together.
Following these recommendations will help reduce the severity of the second wave and help keep more people healthy and safe.
Other blog posts in this series.
Check out my video on this topic.
Check out posts on other topics here: Blog Table of Contents.
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