The term “Twindemic” is used to describe the Influenza and COVID-19 season that has hit people the hardest during the wintertime. Last year, we saw the greatest COVID-19 numbers during this time of year. Even though we didn’t see an influx of flu cases, experts predict it can be completely different this year.
Last year, we didn’t see as many flu cases because most people were masked up and at home. The flu doesn’t spread as easily as COVID. However, this year is very different. Schools, businesses, and workplaces are mostly at full capacity. Not to mention recreational places as well. This can cause an increase in the number of flu cases we see this year.
One of the most significant reasons the “Twindemic” is alarming is the number of hospitalizations. Hospitals and hospital staff do not want to see an overwhelming number of patients again. Every year there are typically 500,000 people in the country hospitalized for the flu. Concurrently, according to the CDC, there are 3,233,806 people hospitalized right now for COVID-19. We have seen hospital resources become scarce and even seen patients being treated in outdoor parking lots! The “Twindemic” can be scary if proper precautions are not being taken by people.
Get vaccinated. That is the number one way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Encourage the people around you to get the COVID-19 vaccination as well. If you already have your two shots, or one shot from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, ensure you receive a booster shot. Booster shots are crucial during this winter season, especially if you are always surrounded by people (like college students). Along with that, receiving the flu shot is especially important. These are two different strains of diseases that require two different types of vaccinations.
Getting vaccinated decreases your chance of getting these illnesses tremendously, but also remember to take other precautions. Always wash your hands. This sounds silly to say, but you can imagine the number of people who forget to constantly wash their hands. Make sure your hand sanitizer has at least 70% alcohol inside it because that is what experts deem necessary to kill bacteria on the hands. It doesn’t hurt to Lysol the most-touched objects around you like doorknobs and car doors. Take extra precautions during the Twindemic season to ensure you and your loved ones are healthy.