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4 ways to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) this fall in Michigan

Weather, flu season among factors expected to make COVID-19 fight more challenging in fall

The start of fall is expected to bring new challenges in fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan. From the weather to flu season and even the attitudes of residents.

Just when people are starting to feel like they’ve learned how to navigate life with the coronavirus, the fall will bring changes that have the potential to increase the number of cases.

READ: Whitmer signs bill to cover $300 weekly unemployment bonus for Michiganders during pandemic

Here are four ways we can fight the spread of COVID-19 this fall.

1. Don’t fall into normal routine

“Every activity that you’re thinking about doing really needs to be thoughtful now,” said Dr. Allison Weinmann, an infectious disease specialist at Henry Ford Hospital.

Weinmann warns against falling into your normal autumn routine. She said it’s still important to keep socializing outside.

“I think it’s kind of getting creative and really getting together with your friends and saying, ‘Listen, if you go for a walk, I’ll come with you. Let’s both wear masks. Let’s go outside. Let’s be outside. We can bundle up. We’re Michiganders. We can do this,'” Weinmann said. “But I think I am worried that people are going to stay at home.”

2. Get a flu shot

Even if you don’t usually get a flu shot, it’s very important to get one this year, experts said.

“It’s going to be a very critical year for everybody to get immunized, and the recommendation is everybody in America over the age of six months needs to get immunized,” Weinmann said. “We are worried about a surge in COVID-19 at the same time as the flu. We can only imagine that would be a bad combination. We’re worried about the people who already had COVID-19 and may have some underlying lung disease now who need to get immunized.”

3. Fight the frustration

The third method of stopping the spread of COVID-19 is to fight the frustration that this pandemic isn’t yet over.

“None of us are immune to that,” Weinmann said. “I mean, I’m completely fed up, too. But the thing is, the longer we don’t mitigate, the longer this is going to go on. We now how to prevent this virus. We know what’s successful. It’s masking, social distancing and hand hygiene. If we do those things consistently, we’ll be out of this mess sooner rather than later. If we keep doing it halfheartedly or get fatigued and say, ‘Well, I haven’t gotten it so far. I’m probably OK,' the risk is that we continue to see this creep of cases and it’s going to go on and on and on.”

4. Plan early for holidays

Everyone should start thinking about the holidays now. What are ways you can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 but still keep some of your family traditions alive?

If trick-or-treating isn’t an option on Halloween, what could you do instead? There are a lot of difficult decisions looming in the months ahead, but a little planning can go a long way.


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