Who’s at-Risk for COVID-19?
Adults over 65 are at-risk of experiencing severe illnesses. This makes them at-risk for infection and having serious or life-threatening complications from COVID-19. What are these complications? They are hospitalized at higher rates. They’re also admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) at higher rates. Additionally, they’re more likely to die from COVID. In short, older adults need to be protected!
Pre-existing Health Conditions
Pre-existing conditions are conditions that existed before COVID-19. They are physical or mental. What are some examples? Heart conditions, respiratory diseases (asthma, pneumonia), anxiety, and depression have been linked to COVID. Having a pre-existing condition makes you vulnerable to becoming infected with COVID-19. This makes you a member of the at-risk population. Also, to have serious complications.
Your immune systems fights infections. However, health conditions actually weaken your immune system. This makes it hard for your body to fight infections. We know that this group is at-risk for a COVID-19 infection. But, how? Your health condition already puts stress and strain on the body. As the result, your body can’t perform normal functions. A COVID-19 infection adds further stress and strain.
Mental Health Conditions
Mental health conditions also affect the body. In fact, these conditions have physical effects on the body. How so? Anxiety causes the body to release hormones. These hormones weaken the immune system. Thus making people vulnerable to illnesses and infections. Similarly, depression causes your immune system to malfunction. We’re not sure how this happens. But, we do know there’s a connection between the two. So, people with mental health conditions are at-risk for COVID-19.
- Have important items ready an available. This includes things like medications and household items.
- Stock up on necessary items. This reduces your need to go out, especially in high case areas.
- Create a plan in the event that you get sick.
This plan is called a contingency plan. It sounds scary. But, it isn’t. Your health status can change quickly. Therefore, it’s important to have a plan in place. Your plan should include the following. First, contact information. Who should be contacted? Spouse? Children? Neighbor? Next, a plan if you get seriously sick. Do you want to be hospitalized? Are you under a doctor’s care? Finally, plans if can’t care for yourself. Who will be your caregiver? Will you be able to return home?
What to Do if You Feel or Get Sick
- Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms
- Get medical attention if you have any warning signs or symptoms!
- Talk to your doctor about ordering medications in bulk