Ad Spot

OUR VIEW: Get a flu shot, wear a mask

Tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu every year, depending on how bad that flu season is. Doctors aren’t sure whether this upcoming season, in the midst of a pandemic, will be better or worse.

One thing they are sure about, though, is that people should get their shot and continue to follow health guidelines.

We are now on the cusp of 200,000 deaths caused by COVID-19. So, it makes perfect sense that we should all do what we can to prevent a bad flu season on top of that.

Flu season typically starts in November and lasts until March of the next year. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop, so try and get your shot before mid-October.

A flu shot is recommended for just about everybody. And doctors say there ought to be plenty of supplies – millions of flu shots are manufactured each and every year.

Flu shots are often free, depending on your healthcare coverage, and when they aren’t they’re not very expensive.

Last week, doctors explained to us that the same precautions you take to protect yourself from COVID-19 are effective in preventing flu. By continuing to wash your hands, keep your distance and wear your mask, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

It’s also possible that the flu shot itself will help protect your body from contracting COVID-19. Doctors aren’t sure if that’s the case, and likely won’t know for months. But they do know that it won’t hurt to get one.

In addition to the importance of protecting yourself, avoiding the flu can protect others.

We’d hate to see even more strain on our healthcare system. A bad flu season, coupled with another spike in COVID-19 cases, will lead to less hospital beds, shortages in medical supplies and the kind of havoc and overcrowding we saw earlier this year.

If you’ve already had COVID-19, there’s another reason to avoid contracting the flu. COVID-19 attacks the lungs and can cause sever and lasting damage.

Flu patients who have already had lung disease are likely to have a rougher time with the disease, and that includes those who have recovered from COVID-19.

Symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are very similar, though some of the odd symptoms of COVID-19, such as the loss of taste, isn’t seen with the flu. If you develop these symptoms, though, don’t try to self-diagnose ¬— get tested.

Tests are available that can identify more than 15 different respiratory viruses. If you get one of those tests, it will tell you if you have COVID-19, the flu, both (yes, that’s possible), neither or something else.

So, get your flu shot. Monitor your health. If you develop symptoms, get tested. And during all of that, continue to be safe by wearing a mask, avoid large gatherings, staying home when possible and wash your hands.

If we all do those things, we can protect ourselves, our loved ones and others. We can reduce the strain on our healthcare workers. And we can avoid more unnecessary deaths.

News

Senate candidate Raphael Warnock rallies on square

News

Harmony House holds vigil for domestic violence victims

News

LaGrange approves fire inspection fees, allows Wild Leap to make wine

~ NO PAYWALL

Giles, District 69 candidate, has been fined for not filing Personal Financial Disclosure Statement

News

District attorney: LPD officer justified in January shooting

News

Florence Hand hosts memorial for residents who died during pandemic

~ NO PAYWALL

LaGrange Daily News Reader Election Survey

News

WPPD visits with West Point Elementary School students

News

LaGrange City Council meetings to move back to council chambers

News

State House candidate fined for missing campaign finance filing

News

Troup County upgraded to tropical storm warning due to Zeta

News

Pleasant Grove UMC to host 40th annual quilt show and bazaar

News

Colony Bank donates ties to THINC

Breaking News

Two children die in morning fire on Cherry Valley Drive

~ NO PAYWALL

Troup County under Tropical Storm Watch

News

Arrest made in crash that killed four LaGrange men in July

News

Four LaGrange men suspects in shooting case at Clayton State University

News

Kemp: If Biden came to Georgia looking for electoral votes, ‘he’s in the wrong place’

News

Biden speaks at Warm Springs, discusses ‘hope’ and ‘healing’ for country after tough year

~ NO PAYWALL

WATCH LIVE: Biden speaks in Warm Springs

News

Trammell, other Democrats host rally

News

The Burrow Warehouse event venue officially opens in West Point

News

Bark at the Park: Annual dog walk and 5K benefits Humane Society

News

15,000 have voted in Troup County so far