The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, at least to some degree. Whether it’s adapting to stay-at-home orders, being part of a coronavirus layoff, or adjusting the children suddenly being home when school was canceled, nearly everyone felt an impact.
However, it’s possible that not all workers are being affected equally. If you are wondering how here’s what you need to know.
Age and the Risk of Severe Illness
Generally speaking, older adults are at higher risk of developing severe illness than younger people. They could have higher chances of requiring hospitalization or a ventilator and could be more likely to end up in intensive care.
Adults over the age of 65 make up about 80 percent of the COVID-19-related deaths, an indication that their illness was more severe than their younger counterparts. At times, this may be due to their bodies having a harder time fighting off the virus. However, underlying health conditions can also play a role, and older adults are more likely to have one.
In some cases, this means that older workers are at higher risk of catching COVID-19 should it make its way into their workplace. Additionally, their chances of getting extremely ill are higher. As a result, if they do get sick, they may be away from the workplace longer, as it could take them more time to recover.
Finally, if hospitalizations are required, older workers may be feeling more of a financial burden. Even if they have sick leave and insurance, the cost of treatment can add up quickly. This could lead some older adults to have to shoulder a significant financial burden for some time as they work toward repayment. At times, that may impact their career or retirement choices moving forward.
Protecting Yourself From COVID-19 at Work
Regardless of your age, it’s wise to take precautions if you are working during the COVID-19 pandemic. If telecommuting options are available, they may be your best choice. By working from home, you don’t have to commute, spend as much time on public transportation, or otherwise interact with others in-person, reducing your odds of being exposed.
If you do have to report to your workplace, focus on limiting your exposure. Follow social distancing principles whenever possible, and wear a face mask. Wash your hands regularly using soap or turn to hand sanitizer if that isn’t an option. Clean surfaces frequently, especially those that many people touch during the day.
Finally, if you believe you may have been exposed, monitor your health and consider getting tested. Additionally, let your employer know immediately and self-isolate as much as possible.
Ultimately, COVID-19 is potentially dangerous to everyone, particularly older workers. It’s critical that you take care of yourself and exercise caution during these unprecedented times, allowing you to limit your odds of infection and slow the spread of the virus.
If you’d like to learn more about navigating the pandemic, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.