Summertime, and the living is easy! Unless you’re not a fan of hazy, hot and humid weather, you’re still concerned about Covid-19, or you’re uneasy about seeing family and friends. Compared to just a year ago, this summer finds all of us at much less risk from the Covid-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that there are no health threats or concerns, especially for older adults.
A Shot at Staying Healthy
Let’s start with Covid-19. The virus continues to dominate news headlines as the Delta variant spreads in many areas, proving to be more contagious and virulent than other strains. But experts say there is little reason to worry about this variant if you are fully vaccinated with two doses of an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna. While there have been some breakthrough cases of Covid-19 among fully vaccinated adults, they are rare and tend to be relatively mild. If you are immunocompromised or just concerned, you can continue to wear a mask when indoors with others. If you are not yet vaccinated, you are strongly urged to get the vaccine. The most serious recent cases of coronavirus are occurring in those who are unvaccinated.
Safety in Numbers?
Warm weather and falling Covid infection rates make this summer the perfect time to reunite with family and friends. It is safe for fully vaccinated adults to be with friends and family this summer, experts say. And that’s good news, because the social isolation that so many experienced over the last year as we tried to socially distance contributed to an epidemic of loneliness that can lead to a cascade of other health issues. Depression and anxiety are heightened by isolation, which can also contribute to physical ailments. So, if you are fully vaccinated, drop the mask and hug your friends and family. After so much time apart, it feels great! Those who are unvaccinated should continue to wear masks when around others.
Beat the Heat
After a long, cold winter, many people love the feeling of the warm sun on their shoulders. But when the thermometer climbs above 80, and the humidity builds, conditions can become dangerous, especially for older adults. On very hot days, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking water or other un-caffeinated beverages. You can also hydrate by eating juicy fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe. Try to stay out of the sun during the warmest part of the afternoon, between noon and about 3 p.m. Use an air conditioner at home if you have one.
Don’t Forget to Move!
Lastly, summer is a great time to get some outdoor exercise. Check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. If you are medically cleared, try walking outdoors. Even low impact activities like gardening can help you burn calories. If you are looking to increase your heart rate a bit more, try bicycling, tennis or golf.
Even if you’re no fan of the heat, this summer can still be a special time with opportunities to make lasting memories. By taking a few simple precautions, everyone can enjoy the season in the best of health.