You've probably heard it or even said it yourself: "I'm young and healthy so, even if I get COVID-19, I'll be fine."
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many think that only seniors are at risk for experiencing debilitating effects from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death, but in Salt Lake County alone, nearly 1,500 adults between the ages of 20–60 have been hospitalized with the virus, and of those, 51 people have died.
in Salt Lake County alone, nearly 1,500 adults between the ages of 20–60 have been hospitalized with the virus, and of those, 51 people have died.
The COVID-19 virus can have serious long-term health impacts, even for those considered low-risk, including chronic fatigue and lasting damage to the lungs, heart, and brain. Even in young adults, COVID-19 can cause strokes, seizures, and Guillain-Bare syndrome – a nerve disorder that can lead to paralysis.
Many of the long-term effects of this new strain of coronavirus are still unknown. Symptoms can persist for months; some of those who got COVID-19 early on in the pandemic are still experiencing side effects now, almost eight months later, such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and loss of sense of smell and taste.
Many worry that symptoms may never go away.
While the health risk can be overwhelming and scary, there are simple actions you can take every day to protect yourself (and others) from getting sick. Our community is doing a great job of wearing face coverings when out in public; however, the reality is that the majority of cases – more than 60% – are being contracted from friends, family, and neighbors.
While it can be awkward, wearing face coverings and maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet are now more essential than ever. Taking these simple measures will not only help keep you healthy through the pandemic but also reduce the community spread of COVID-19, protecting others and reducing the stress on our hospitals and healthcare workers.
Even if you don't get COVID-19, helping to reduce the number of cases is an essential part of keeping our hospitals operating normally. As hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, other urgent heath care needs are compromised meaning you may not get the critical care you need in an emergency.
The persistent increase in positive COVID-19 cases means the risk of contracting COVID-19 from everyday activities is even higher.
As we go into the holiday season, it's important to stay vigilant and observe all health precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Wear a face covering, maintain physical distance when around anyone who doesn't live in your home – even extended family and close friends, limit in-person interactions, wash your hand frequently and re-think how you plan to socialize with friends and family by finding new, creative ways to celebrate the holidays safely.