Believe it or not, there was a time when phrases like ‘Wash your hands!” and “Cover your cough!” were used repetitively for only a few months out of the year, instead of, well, the whole year. These months, known as “Flu Season” are fast approaching and predicted to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to avoid as much sickness as possible, PA families have made it a priority to receive their flu shots this year, many within the comfort of their own school.
On Monday, October 19 and Monday, October 26 Providence Academy held its annual Flu Clinic. However, due to COVID-19, this year’s Flu Clinic was a bit different from years past. In order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, flu vaccines were administered in the faculty lounge instead of the Great Room with one person allowed in the room at a time. People remained socially distant and tables were cleaned as people came and went. Even with the COVID-19 protocol, PA families were more eager to get their flu shots this year with over 150 shots administered to family members.
“The spots filled up very quickly,” PA School Nurse Mrs. Maureen Murphy noted. “People are heeding the advice of the Minnesota Department of Health and making sure to at least minimize flu cases.”
With COVID-19 going around at the same time as the flu, it’s recommended that people take preventative measures to slow the spread of infectious disease as much as they can. As both diseases cause similar symptoms, it’s more important than ever for families to lower their risks of catching the flu to avoid the unpleasant symptoms and unnecessary quarantines and worry.
“As a parent, I want to help keep influenza from spreading within our own family, but also within the PA community,” PA mother Mrs. Lizzie Hilberg shared. “It’s important that all our kids can be in school as much as possible.”
According to the CDC, “Individuals with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient(s) in the vaccine” as well as infants younger than six months old should not receive the flu vaccine. However, if flu cases can be reduced, the likelihood of these individuals catching the flu is also lowered.
“By getting a flu shot, I’m protecting other people in the community that aren’t able to get them,” flu shot recipient Helen Foley ‘22 explained.
This year’s flu clinic was yet another important reminder that a few simple steps can go so far in preventing the spread of infectious disease. As influenza and COVID-19 spread, it’s good to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.