COVID-19 Preparing For The Second Wave
13th June 2020
Dr Tim Ubhi tells us how to get ready for the second wave of COVID-19.
The Spanish flu pandemic in 1917 has very important parallels with the current COVID-19 outbreak. Most notable is the fact that there was a lockdown at the start of the Spanish flu pandemic which, as cases began to decline, was relaxed (partly due to public pressure). The virus then mutated and in combination with the relaxation of the lockdown, this led to a huge rise in cases and a significant second wave.
It will be a miracle if we avoid a second wave so why not prepare to try and mitigate it’s impact? This is important at an individual and family level as well as at a national and institutional level. The second wave is likely to overlap with seasonal influenza and all the other infections that predominate during the winter months (this includes infections such as RSV, rhino-virus and others). What we don’t know is what impact the combination of different infections will have on children or adults. We therefore need to reduce the disease burden in our environments.
There are 3 infections (in addition to COVID-19) that I am worried about over the next 9 months; influenza, measles and whooping cough. All can have significant effects on lung function but importantly, all have vaccines available to protect children against them. So, the first thing you can do is to is to make sure your child’s vaccines are up to date and if you are offered the flu vaccine, grab it with both hands!
Next, optimise your child’s diet to ensure that they are getting a well balanced diet with all the right nutrients. There will be a need to add vitamin D particularly during the winter months, read the section on Vitamin D deficiency if you are unsure how much you need to give.
Third, think about what you learnt from the first wave. If there is a second wave there will be a further lockdown. Get the things that you need in now to keep your kids safe from both a physical health and a mental health perspective. If I can recommend that you get anything to help you over this difficult time it would be a thermometer and saturation monitor (Ideally get yourself a HOTPOD® Child Health Monitoring Kit). The saturation monitor will help ensure that your child has enough oxygen circulating in the blood when they are unwell and they are simple to use, they really are a must have during this pandemic.
We know that ibuprofen and paracetamol are both safe to use with COVID-19 so make sure you get a supply in. Also consider a nasal decongestant.
Dr Tim Ubhi