Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Summer 2020

2 The coronavirus doesn’t care how old you are. Anyone of any age can get COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The disease does appear to hit older people harder. But younger people can get sick too. And they have fueled COVID-19 spikes in some areas. Be a protector Although their illness is more likely to be mild, there are good reasons for young people to guard against the coronavirus. For instance, some younger people get severely ill. But even if they don’t, they can still infect people around them. That might include older people and those with chronic conditions, who are at risk for severe illness and even death. The coronavirus is mainly spread from person to person. It’s spread through droplets produced when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. These can land on people who are nearby or be breathed into the lungs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests everyone take steps to avoid spreading the infection. That includes: ● Staying at least 6 feet from people when in public ● Wearing a cloth face mask in public ● Washing your hands well and often ● Covering your coughs and sneezes with a face mask, tissue, or elbow ● Not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands ● Disinfecting shared surfaces daily ● Avoiding close contact with people who are sick Take care of your health These healthy habits can also help you stay well, according to the World Health Organization: Eat a nutritious diet. That includes limiting alcohol and sugary drinks. This can help keep your immune system strong. Don’t smoke. COVID-19 affects the lungs. Smoking can increase your risk of developing severe symptoms if you have the virus. Get regular exercise. Aim for about 30 minutes a day. Children should be active for at least an hour a day. Stay tuned in to your mental health. Stress can make you more vulnerable to illness. Relax by listening to music, reading a book, or playing a game. And cut back on your daily diet of news if it’s making you anxious. Younger adults can get the coronavirus too Protect your kids Get your child’s vaccines Vaccines help protect kids of all ages from serious diseases. Those include diseases like whooping cough and measles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get many of their shots by age two. Despite that recommendation, it seems that fewer kids have been getting their shots during the coronavirus crisis. Schedule your child’s shots Doctors’ offices are taking steps to keep their patients safe during checkups and vaccine visits. If you think you may have fallen behind on your child’s shots, talk to their doctor. They can fill you in on vaccine recommendations for your child. You can also call the New Mexico vaccination hotline at 1-833-882-6454 or visit www.vaxviewnm.o r g to look up a vaccination history for yourself or your child. Here are some shots that kids of different ages may need. For a full list of shots your kids need, visit vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html . Infants and toddlers (birth to age two years) ● DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) ● MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) ● Chickenpox ● Pneumonia ● Hepatitis A and B ● Polio ● Rotavirus Preschoolers and school- aged kids (ages three to 10) ● DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) ● MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) ● Chickenpox ● Polio Preteens and teens (ages 11 to 18) ● HPV ● Meningitis ● Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)