COVID-19 and flu season act as a double whammy of risk for people with heart disease. Being extra vigilant about risk and current treatment practices is essential to lower your risk for exposure or serious complications.
Recent advice from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) included “heart disease patients bear a greater burden during the pandemic since they are having to navigate managing their heart health and also protecting themselves from COVID-19.”
Attending or hosting indoor gatherings, even small ones, can drastically increase your risk for COVID-19. As your grandchildren have returned to school and social bubbles have mostly been popped, even seeing relatives is risky.
If the weather co-operates or you live in an area that has largely contained COVID-19 spread, moving your celebration outdoors is an option. If you have the luxury of a yard, then you should be okay.
Other ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 while managing heart disease include:
- Wearing a mask (cover nose and mouth), regular hand washing, and maintaining a safe distance from others.
- Getting a flu shot. Contact your healthcare provider or local pharmacy about availability as soon as possible.
- Keeping all appointments to monitor heart health. Your doctor’s office should be safe and ready to serve you while offering virtual meetings when appropriate. Missing these appointments can have dire consequences.
- Reaching your healthcare team if you notice changes or worsening health.
- Making sure you have an adequate supply of medication.
- Staying active
- Managing stress
Heart disease is a risk factor for a severe COVID-19 outcome. Do your best to protect yourself this season and stay focused on the future.