5 Ways Families Can Prepare as Coronavirus Cases Surge

As winter approaches, we still need to be vigilant about taking precautions.

By Christina Caron

As if parents didn’t have enough to worry about, here’s a new cause for alarm: Coronavirus cases in the United States are climbing toward a third peak, troubling epidemiologists.

Cases are rising to record levels in nearly half the states in the country, driven by uncontrolled outbreaks in the Midwest and Mountain West, where hospitals are becoming overwhelmed.

“The big concern, of course, is what’s going to happen in the winter,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, the vice chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on infectious diseases. “There is some reason for hope that it won’t be horrible. But I think we don’t really know.”

While the onset of another surge may sound frightening, experts say there are things parents can do right now to start preparing. Here are five ways to help protect your family’s physical and mental health.

Make sure your family is vaccinated.

There isn’t yet a vaccine for the coronavirus, but making sure you and your family are fully vaccinated for other illnesses, including the flu, is one of the simplest ways to prepare for an oncoming surge.

Public health leaders are urging everyone to get the flu vaccine, not only for their own well-being but for the greater good. The more people stay healthy, the less chance that hospitals will become overwhelmed with sick patients this winter. Especially because it’s possible to get the flu and Covid-19 at the same time.

Experts recommend that both adults and children 6 months and older be fully vaccinated against influenza by the end of October. If your child is under 9 and has never received a flu vaccine, or has only received one dose of the vaccine in the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two doses, spaced four weeks apart, for maximal protection.

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