A Coronavirus guide for senior citizens is essential reading in this period of uncertainty. These are unprecedented times. Of course, America’s senior citizens have seen their share of epochal events. From VE Day to the Cuban Missile Crisis. From Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech to 9/11. Few events in history have been so immediate and potentially worrying as the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Mixed messages from governments and alarming news headlines are heightening the feeling of uncertainty. Americans are distressed throughout the nation; most acutely by our senior citizens. A highly vulnerable demographic, seniors are the most likely to get seriously sick from COVID-19.
Our duty to inform, reassure and protect our nation’s seniors has become more important than ever! Over on our Facebook page, we invited our subscribers to share their questions and concerns.
In this guide to Coronavirus and older adults, we’ll address your questions directly. We’ll help our readers to cut through the myths and misinformation. This will allow them to protect themselves and their families in this difficult and challenging time.
We will get through this together! In the meantime, it’s up to us to take the proper precautions. We must do our part to ensure the safety of our nation. We hope you’ll find our elderly guide for Coronavirus useful.
Table of Contents
How is Coronavirus caught?
To adapt our behavior, we need to understand exactly how people catch the COVID-19 virus. The virus is transmitted through droplets of moisture when infected people cough or sneeze.
A single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. Just one sneeze can produce as many as 10,000. These droplets land on surfaces. Uninfected people touch these surfaces and come into contact with the virus. It enters the person’s system if they touch their face (especially the mouth and eyes). This is why proper hand sanitation and the rigorous cleaning of surfaces are so vitally important.
Readers have asked us on Facebook whether the virus is airborne. Whether they can breathe it in if someone coughs or sneezes close to them. There is some debate on this matter. Studies are now underway to determine how long the virus can last in the air.
According to recent studies, the virus can only last a few hours in the air. Or less outside, depending on temperature. It can last around 24 hours on cardboard. It may last for as long as 3 days on surfaces like stainless steel or plastic.
Droplets cannot travel far in the air which is why social distancing outdoors is so essential.
Always Practice Good Hygiene
The US government is sending out good hygiene tips that we should all practice. Above all, these tips can help decrease our chances of contracting and spreading the Coronavirus.
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any commonly used items or surfaces.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces.
Coronavirus Symptoms to watch out for
Those infected by the Coronavirus may show no symptoms for up to 14 days after infection. As soon as symptoms start to show, seek medical advice. This applies to you, your partner, or anyone else in your home. This video explains what the early symptoms of the virus look and feel like.
- A temperature
- A dry cough
- And in some extreme cases shortness of breath
Some rarer symptoms include:
- Joint/muscle pain
- Sore throat
How do you get tested, and is the Coronavirus test covered by Medicare?
Readers have requested that we include information on testing in our Coronavirus guide for seniors. If you experience the symptoms above, testing is vital. It will help you get the help you need. The good news is that the cost of the test is covered by Medicare Part B! Furthermore, many Advantage Plan providers are waiving the usual copays or preauthorization requirements.
However, as this article by CNBC states, getting a test isn’t as simple as going into a pharmacy or your doctor’s office and asking for one. It needs to be approved by your doctor.
Healthcare facilities flooded by people needing urgent medical attention to deal with the virus. Tests are currently only available where they’re deemed medically necessary. However, seniors, especially those with pre-existing health conditions are usually deemed high risk and will be prioritized for testing.
If you start to feel sick, the best plan is to contact your doctor and they will advise you accordingly. They will either arrange a test or instruct you to self-isolate for up to 7 days before taking further action. The CDC website has lots more information on who to contact if you feel sick.
Why washing your hands is always the best defense
We’re seeing some scary behaviors in the news. We hope this elderly guide for coronavirus will help clear up things.