17 Dec 2018 America’s ‘flu epidemic’ needs a solution. Can tech be a part of it?
Born in the Flu-S-A
Last year’s flu season was the worst in over a decade, killing 80,000 Americans. 180 were under 18. These figures are astounding, beating out even the swine flu crisis in 2009. Medical experts worked hard to determine what exactly caused it to be so deadly. One thing they remain certain of is the best advice for those wanting to avoid getting sick. The advice from doctors is the same as it has been for years. Get the flu vaccine.
But what about when that ship has sailed? How can individuals who’ve been unlucky enough to catch the flu avoid the spreading the disease? The first and step is to try to minimise the number of people you’re in contact with. That’s a lot easier said than done, but technology can help make the days where you’re laid low a lot more manageable.
Avoiding the Office
Not everyone in the US has paid sick leave and according to analysts at Brookings, that’s one of the main reasons that last year’s flu season was so bad. Workers who don’t have the option to stay home are forced into workplaces full of people to pass the disease on to. Paid sick leave could be a great help, but even where employers aren’t able or willing to provide it, technology provides other options.
More and more, employees are able to work remotely, logging in from home and getting through daily tasks without putting colleagues at risk. Of course, in serious cases, remote work is a problem of its own. Employers can push workers who aren’t fit to perform and would be far better off in bed. This can have awful effects, prolonging or even worsening their sickness. It’s a system that can be abused, but can keep a lot of people out of harm’s way.
We’ve all done a bit of shopping online, especially for things that aren’t going to show up in the local supermarket. We love the range of options, the convenience, and the fact we can do it all from the comfort of our home. With services like Amazon Fresh growing in popularity, online shopping can cover everything we need. The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re feeling sick is haul themselves around a busy store. You can get healthy foods, medication and all the fluids you would need delivered to your home to help you recover. Two birds, one stone.
When it gets Worse
When you’re too sick to get to work, there’s a choice to consider. Do I go to the doctor, potentially pass on what I have to others in the waiting room, and ultimately just get told to go home & drink fluids? Or do I stay home, and take the risk that it isn’t something worse that needs attention? The dilemma is made even worse when it’s a parent making the decision for their child. It’s sometimes almost impossible to know the right thing to do.
But in a lot of cases, an in-person consultation just isn’t necessary. With telehealth and telemedicine technology constantly improving, patients and parents alike can get the advice and diagnosis they need to rest easy know they’re making the best decision they can. Better still, they can get it quickly, from their own home, and without putting others at risk, and from a source they can trust. We understand that when you are in pain or discomfort, going out and sitting in a waiting room is horrible. That’s why we made sure the Toothpic can be used from anywhere, at any time you might need dental advice.
Quarantining Yourself doesn’t have to be Awful
If there’s one thing that can be said for the internet age, it’s that there’s no shortage of entertainment out there. The flu can be nasty, and it’s rarely a good idea to ignore it and try to fight through. When the doc says we need rest, it’s worth listening to them. So curl up on the sofa, switch on Netflix, and binge on the trash show you’ve been saving. Give your body the chance to rest and fight back, and when you’re back to yourself in just a few days you’ll be glad of it.