COVID in the cold | Health Beat

Sending handwritten letters by snail mail is a wonderful way to comfort those who may feel isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

As the chill in the air brings an end to many outdoor gatherings and events, family and friends will no doubt be looking for ways to stay happy and healthy this winter season.

Spectrum Health infectious disease specialist Russell Lampen, DO, and clinical psychologist Lyndsay Volpe-Bertram, PsyD, offer some helpful tips to stay safer during the cold months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Embrace the cold

Take a walk. Learn to snowshoe or cross-country ski. But continue to maintain social distancing if you’re participating with friends outside of your immediate family. Be sure to dress warm and proceed with caution to avoid injuries.

Get a flu shot

Flu shots are especially critical this year.

Create a fire pit

Take the chill off while continuing

Read More

‘When life throws you lemons’ | Health Beat

Read More

It’s a fall thing: Time for flu shots | Health Beat

Make your plan today to keep the flu at bay this season. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Bake an apple pie. Admire colorful leaves. Sip a pumpkin spice latte.

And roll up your sleeve for a flu vaccine.

If you include that quick shot in the arm in your autumn traditions, you boost your odds of avoiding influenza in the chilly months to come, says Rosemary Olivero, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“Even normally healthy people can get severe influenza,” she said. “You can still get hospitalized. You can still get secondary bacterial pneumonia.”

And vaccinations communitywide can protect those at greatest risk from influenza, particularly babies who are too young for the vaccine.

“Our very young and our very old are always going to be at the highest risk for severe influenza,” she said.

Also at high risk: pregnant women,

Read More