As I See It – COVID-19: What seniors need to know, need children, grandchildren support

Elpidio R. Estioko (Phpoto By FB)

It’s almost two years now that the pandemic is attacking each and every one of us, especially the seniors. By this time, we should have known what to do and how to avoid being positive of the virus.

However, we still need to continuously educate everybody, especially the seniors, on what the virus is all about and what it is capable of doing because education is the best anti-dote to the virus. We need to be informed and need to know what to do to avoid going positive. The awareness campaign should be continuing and must reach everybody, again especially seniors, to be able to avoid being positive. 

In addition, I think, children and grandchildren need to support their parents and grandparents in complying with protocols to stay safe from the pandemic. They need your help since seniors, due to their age, sometimes forget things and no longer capable of doing things on a regular basis, so the children/grandchildren need to support them and assist them in their medical needs to stay safe.

I remember seven months ago, my daughter May said – “dad, mom, get ready… we have scheduled vaccination” at the main office of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV) in San Jose where she made the appointment with the Santa Clara Health Office. She took the initiative and assisted us in getting the appointments for the first and second dose. That’s how we became fully vaccinated. And… this coming Sunday, she scheduled our booster appointment with the County of Santa Clara in their vaccination site in San Jose. That’s what I mean by children supporting their elders.

Older unvaccinated adults (seniors) are mostly victims of the corona virus pandemic. In fact, even vaccinated adults are likewise at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to psychological changes that come from aging and potential underlying conditions.

In drastic ways, the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the global population. Older people, in many countries, are facing the most threats and challenges. If they contract the disease, they face significant risk of developing severe illness due to physiological changes that come with ageing and potential underlying health conditions.

Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. People 65 and older who received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines showed a 94% reduced risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization. Unvaccinated people should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die. The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick.

As a senior, just like any older adult, I am concerned about staying alive and defeating the corona virus. I was told that the best way to do it is to be informed of what the virus is all about and must know how to combat the virus based on the guidelines promulgated by the CDC.

The National Council on Aging (NCA), in their website, as posted by Kathleen Cameron, Senior Director of NCOA’s Center for Aging and Jeremiah McCoy, Director at Sirona Strategies, outlined the things seniors need to know/do to fight the pandemic.

First off, NCA said that the approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), including Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, provide optimal protection against the virus; That the vaccine is free for people with and without insurance—but beware of scams asking you to pay for it; and take the vaccine that is first offered to you.

As to side effects, they are normal signs that our bodies are building protection. They may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Common side effects reported so far are pain and swelling at the injection site or upper arm. Others may include muscle aches and weakness, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache.

When you receive your vaccine, you will be required to wait at least 15-30 minutes to check for an allergic reaction, which is rare but may occur in some people, especially those with a history of anaphylaxis. If you fall into this category, speak with your doctor about the vaccine.

The federal government has provided coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge for people with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance and for those with no insurance. Vaccine providers can bill insurance companies for the cost, so bring your Medicare or other insurance card with you when you get vaccinated.

Be aware of scams! The federal government has provided the following information: You likely will not need to pay anything out-of-pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency; You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine; You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine; You will not be solicited door-to-door to receive the vaccine; No one from Medicare or the health department will contact you; No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Medicare number, Social Security number, credit card, or bank account information to sign you up for the vaccine.

It is important to continue following the safety precautions issued by the CDC. Wear a face mask at all times in public and when around people not in your household; keep 6 feet apart from people not in your household; wash hands frequently; and avoid crowds.

The bottom line …Getting vaccinated is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community from COVID-19. For many older adults and those with ongoing conditions like heart disease and diabetes, the vaccine can prevent severe illness or death from the coronavirus, including the highly contagious and infectious Delta variant. 

As a senior, I am concerned on how we can be assured of safety during the corona virus pandemic. Vaccination will get us back to normal, something we all want as soon as possible.

With the highly contagious Delta variant circulating and cases of COVID-19 increasing across many parts of the U.S., a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.

Older people are at risk for weakened immune systems and therefore need the added dose, especially in light of the more contagious Delta variant that is spreading across the U.S. Approximately 7 million adults fall into one or more categories above and are at higher risk of breakthrough infections, being hospitalized or dying if they get COVID-19.

CDC said wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required to avoid spreading the virus; stay 6 feet away from others;  avoid crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.


·         If you are wearing a mask: You can cough or sneeze into your mask, but put on a new, clean mask as soon as possible and wash your hands.

·         If you are not wearing a mask: Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit; throw used tissues in the trash; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; and if soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Finally, you need to clean and disinfect touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

So, children and grandchildren, we need your help in assisting our elders to stay safe!