Days are growing shorter, the weather is getting colder and cases of COVID-19 are steadily rising. At the time of writing this article, over 74 thousand new cases had been reported since the previous day, bringing the total number of cases to 8.85 million in the United States alone. While some argue that the apparent rise in cases is due to increased testing, doctors say that it has little to no effect on the numbers. CBS News reported that the increases in infection rates are due to an actual increase in the number of positive cases, not simply due to more testing.
As people begin to spend more time indoors due to the colder temperatures there will be more likelihood of infection as the virus spreads more easily indoors. Some experts have warned that getting the flu may make you more vulnerable to other infections such as the coronavirus, and the additional burden on hospitals from flu cases could pose a challenge. In addition, influenza and COVID-19 share many common symptoms, which might cause some to confuse their symptoms and not seek needed treatment or testing.
American medical trials for COVID-19 vaccines are still ongoing, while both Russia and China have already begun to market theirs to other countries. However, the willingness to receive a vaccination immediately upon its availabiltiy has declined in America among those affiliated with both parties, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. Among the Americans who said they wouldn’t receive a vaccine, 76 percent said the major reason for their apprehension was concern about potential side effects. Without the proper observation time, potentially dangerous side effects could be missed before mass immunization begins. The survey also found that a majority of Americans thought the vaccine would be used before its safety and effectiveness are fully understood.
Regardless of when a vaccine is available for American citizens, taking precautions during this time is important for both your health and the health of others around you. Practical ways to keep yourself healthy during this time include wearing a mask, plenty of water and sleep, washing your hands, regular exercise, and social distancing when around other people.