A possible “twindemic” – flu season unfolding alongside the coronavirus pandemic has us all worried. Doctor Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Cleveland Clinic suggests the following home essentials to help us stay healthy this fall and beyond.
Here are his suggestions:

1. Thermometer – this medicine cabinet essential should be easy to use and read.
2. Meditation – stress reduction is crucial in all aspects of life, and meditation apps are vital right now.
3. Hand Sanitizer – it is probably the most important product when you are out of the house this fall.
4. The Right Mask- when you combine masks with social distancing, it is hard to get covid-19, and it is empowering to remind ourselves that we are in a bit more control than we thought.
5. Flu Shot- because influenza is largely preventable. the sooner you have that extra layer of protection the better.
6. Pulse Oximeter – if you are considered higher risk a pulse oximeter is a good idea. It measures oxygen levels and pulse rate.
7. Fluids- old-fashioned H20 and electrolyte containing drinks can help keep you out of the hospital when you are sick. Dr. Khabbaza recommends sixty-four ounces per day to replenish lost fluids and stay hydrated.
8. Eye Protection – when social distancing is a challenge sunglasses or nonprescription glasses can act as an extra barrier, preventing droplet spread through the eyes.
9. Anti-Inflammatory- the idea that ibuprofen increases covid-19 risks has been debunked. Dr. Khabbaza suggests keeping Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Naproxen on hand for fevers, and aches and pains.
10. Disinfectants – any disinfectant spray is adequate for cleaning your home’s frequently touched surfaces.
11. Mask Holder – if you are constantly losing your mask in your purse try an eyeglass chain

The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year!

Sheila Birnbaum’s professional career has been devoted to enhancing patient care. As the Director of the Patient Advocacy Program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), Hamilton, NJ, she instituted numerous programs, many which received statewide recognition, including several prestigious rewards.