Nowadays it seems like everyone is getting sick and it can be scary because no one wants to get COVID or the flu. Flu and COVID are both caused by viruses. You may not get very sick, or you may get so sick that you need to go to the hospital. Some people even die from the flu or COVID. Here are some tips to help protect you during this time:
- Your number one defense is to get vaccinated. Both are readily available to the public. You can get your flu vaccine at your doctor’s office or at a local pharmacy. The COVID vaccine is available through state-run sites as well as local pharmacies.
- Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often, and when you don’t have access to a sink, hand sanitizer will do in the meantime. It is especially important to wash your hands after touching public things like door handles or pens, coughing, sneezing, or if you have been near anyone that is sick. Don’t forget to wash your hands before you eat!
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes throughout the day. You don’t want to spread any germs that might be on your hands to places where they can easily get inside your body and make you sick!
- Clean any surfaces that get touched by many people with sanitizing wipes or spray to help stop the spread of germs. Also avoid using the same cups, pens, tools, or utensils that someone else used to prevent the spread of germs.
- Practice social distancing. Try to stay 6 feet apart from others in public. This means if both of you put your arms straight out, you would not be able to touch hands.
- Wear a mask any time you are in public or crowded places, and other places that require you to wear one.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Make sure to use tissues and throw them away right away.
- Make sure you are taking the best care of yourself. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep will help you keep your immune system strong. Focus on fueling our bodies well with plenty of water and lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats so that it can operate at its best.
If you do happen to get sick, stay home and rest! Make sure to follow guidelines regarding quarantine and testing from the CDC if you test positive or are exposed. If you are on a Special Olympics team, tell your coach about your situation right away. It is not worth it to go to school, work, day program, etc. and spread sickness to others! If you are sick and don’t think you are getting better within a few days, then call your doctor.