The elderly should be given prime importance amidst the ongoing pandemic, beginning with education and awareness as the first step.

Key Words: Covid among the elderly, Vaccinations for the elderly, Covid safety measures for the elderly

A state of crisis and chaos prevails with the all-encompassing pandemic, and Florida is in dire need to hold its senior demographic as an equal priority and minimize the consequences.

With the onset of the pandemic, Florida, like many other states were affected by the virus. The way the Florida government tackled the pandemic permitted a certain sense of relief for brief comforting months. The arrival of the Delta variant was largely unexpected, yet still, it proved to be a whole lot severe and deadly in the infections it caused. The countless infected by the delta variant is on the rise, and sadly enough, it is primarily the younger generation that is not making it to the finish line this time.

Why Florida

In Florida, the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions led to an unhealthy result. With masks made to be not mandatory and no rules imposed on vaccinations, there appears to be plenty of room for welcoming further infections. Panic-struck hospitals and doctors are on the verge of running on empty because of the acute nature of the cases and the drastic increase in their number. With all of this, hope seems bleak for doctors and hospitals as they traverse through everything in their potential to rescue lives.

A Serious Concern

Given the situation in Florida, a concern that arises now would be the older generation inhabiting the state. The contagious nature of the virus from the first wave targeted the aged and the elderly as easy prey taking advantage of prevailing health conditions. With the onset of the delta variant, it is no question that the senior members must be made aware of the severity of the second wave and how to tackle it. Basic protocols are more than enough to keep them in safety and free from the virus.  

Here are the reasons why the elderly are always the target in this pandemic:

  • Vulnerability is a deadly factor causing people to fall easy prey to the Variant. The rate of infections in populations over the age of 70 is rising at an alarming rate and is a source of serious worry. A pre-existing condition already has the body at a weakened state, allowing it to fall easy prey to infections.
  • Less Social Mobility has been identified to be a silent cause. It appears that the reason for infections among the elderly is a result of transmissions that have occurred from youngsters to their peers and finally to their less socially mobile elders.
  • People with specific weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of contracting the infection. These include people with HIV, autoimmune diseases, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Bells Palsy. Safety is a whole lot easier to achieve with awareness.
  • Pre-existing conditions- It is necessary to check the requirements listed in the Covid – 19 vaccine clinical trials as a part of safety measures. These are reports of information provided by vaccine manufacturers from clinical trials, including demographics and underlying medical conditions of those who participated in the trials.

What Can Be Done

  • Getting Vaccinated– The risk of severe illnesses from Covid- 19 increases with age. Adults over the age of 65 years and older must receive vaccinations mandatorily. Getting vaccinated saves people from being held vulnerable to the virus and plays a vital role in reducing health issues with the onset of an infection. For the elderly with underlying medical conditions, vaccinations can still be administered. These vaccines are specifically formulated keeping in mind those with pre-existing conditions to prevent further complications. This makes vaccination a responsibility of every individual irrespective of age.
  • Masks are Mandatory Irrespective Of Government Rules – Masks quickly put out of the risk to a great extent with minimal effort. Masks are the most effective ways, along with vaccinations, that can help curb the infection and put people out of danger.
  • General Health – People with pre-existing illnesses have to maintain a strict checkup routine and be even more cautious to remain healthier always.
  • Outdoor Events and Activities– It is always best to avoid outdoor activities as much as possible for the elderly, given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic. Staying home is always the best precaution that can be undertaken to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • Diet– Poor diet patterns make the body vulnerable to catching infections quickly. A proper diet ensures that the body is equipped with essential nutrients to fight infections and germs. Especially in the elderly, good immunity must be prioritized.
  • Awareness: Most of the time, lack of proper education can be one of the crucial causes for people getting infected. Elderly members must be explained in detail regarding the severity of the pandemic and the importance of taking precautions. Proper education will help them understand why all the prescribed measures are necessary and make the whole process much more manageable.
  • Anxiety and Fear – The novelty of the pandemic may be a source of anxiety, stress and fear among the elderly. Therefore, it is essential to explain that these fears are a natural process of coping with the new changes. And if found to be more severe, it is necessary to acknowledge these mental issues, and they need to be dealt with in a professional way. Checking the news too frequently along with the accompanied isolation may trigger an overwhelming feeling among people. These can be dealt with by staying connected with loved ones or developing routines that can help them stay occupied.
  • Social Distancing – It is essential to maintain social distancing for the safety of the person concerned as well as the people around them. There will be times whereby outdoor errands can’t be avoided. During these times, social distancing must be practiced. 

Covid- 19 does come as a threat to the elderly. But the information we possess today shows progress; it means we know well enough to tackle the pandemic. But a major part of this starts at home with every individual, through choosing to get vaccinated and through choosing to wear a mask. That comes as a responsibility towards us and those around us, and in any means not intended to be neglected.

American Medical Clinic is an organization that aims at providing primary medical care in Tampa Bay. Their area of expertise over a span of many years makes them genuinely take care of the elderly. Headed by Dr. Hemanth.N. Shah with twenty years of experience and a team of diligent, sincere doctors, American Medical Clinic ensures timely care for patients making them optimistic during pandemic times.