By Vanessa B
With the implementation of Covid vaccines and the successful double-jabbing of a majority of the most vulnerable people in the country, the United Kingdom opened up with virtually zero restrictions in the summer. The accepted position was that although the pandemic wasn’t over, we were now at a point where we could live with the virus.
It’s fair to say that when the restrictions on social mixing were lifted, we did not expect that by October there would be rising case rates and increasing mortality from the virus, and it is fair to say that questions are beginning to be asked as to whether a winter peak could put us back in a high-risk period. So what should we be focusing on if we want to avoid another winter like the last one, and another traumatic Christmas?
You should get a booster shot if you’re eligible
Although being double-jabbed offers a high level of protection from the virus and is known to reduce the danger of getting seriously ill, there is some sign that this protection reduces with time. Fortunately, there is now a program of booster shots that are prioritized for anyone in their 50s and over, those with specific health conditions, and anyone who cares for people who are vulnerable to Covid. We don’t know right now quite how acute a winter spike may be, especially given the possibility that it will come alongside a flu crisis – so it’s best to be safe.
Don’t simply rely on government advice
A recent report by parliamentarians claimed that the response to Covid in this country had been some way short of perfect, and so it stands to reason that making your own common sense decisions over and above what is advised is a good idea. If you’re living cautiously, there’s no reason to change your lifestyle: you can keep shopping at an online vape shop if you haven’t had your respiratory system compromised by the virus, as studies show it doesn’t make you more susceptible. You should, however, keep wearing masks to go shopping and take public transport, as there are signs that too many people are abandoning this simple act of public health awareness.
If you need non-Covid treatment, don’t delay
In the short term, many people avoided seeking treatment for health issues last year, and in non-acute cases, this was entirely understandable. However, there is a genuine possibility with the combination of Covid, winter flu, and the colder weather, that hospitals and surgeries will become dangerously busy again this winter. So if you are waiting to see a doctor for diagnosis or early treatment, the time to go is now. If it’s left for another month, it could end up being left for another several in addition; there really is no time like the present and those months could be crucial.
There is only so much that individuals can do to ensure that this winter is less traumatic, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to protect yourself and those close to you. The above tips, and keeping a close watch on the news, are the best way to keep healthy and happy this winter.