How this Year’s Flu Season Will Look Different For Nurses
2020 has been a year like none other with the impacts of Coronavirus. And now we are in what is already the busiest season for the healthcare system– flu season.
Nurses across the country dread flu season, even in a normal year. But what will it look like this year when you throw in rising numbers in a global pandemic? Well, as we see it, it could go two ways.
In theory, due to the increased awareness of precautions due to Coronavirus, there could be a decrease in flu cases this year. Since many people are handwashing, wearing a mask, and staying home when they are sick, there is a possibility that these precautions could have a positive impact this flu season.
However, even if nurses see fewer flu cases this year, it doesn’t mean that the workload will be any less since Coronavirus cases continue to rise in most states.
Of course, the other side of the spectrum is that we will have just as many flu cases as previous years, if not more. This is also a problem due to the existing strain on the healthcare system.
Additionally, there might be people who don’t go get the flu shot this year, as they typically would, if they are staying home or just holding out for the Coronavirus vaccine.
So far, the Center for Disease Control has shown very little positive flu cases. They do state that it could rise in the coming months, which we would expect in a normal year.
We were not able to find a forecast for the future as they usually put out, but the website does show that predictions are coming soon. You can keep up with the current numbers here.
Regardless of what the numbers end up being, this year’s flu season is going to look different for nurses.
Many of the symptoms of Coronavirus are also flu symptoms, so there will have to be protocols in place to triage and separate these cases.
There are already COVID units across the country that are in isolation, but flu patients also require isolation and, many times, intensive care; so it will be a challenge for hospitals to have to divide resources when they are already overwhelmed.
There are so many things that could happen, we just have to do our best and encourage our friends and family to help in any way they can – especially by getting their flu shots!