We are heading into fall and dealing with the possibility of a “second wave” of COVID-19 in some areas of the country, and flu season everywhere. Many of you may not know it but the CDC estimates that since 2010, the flu has infected anywhere from 9-45 million people per flu season (generally October to March) and, depending upon the severity of the year, the flu causes 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and anywhere from 12,000 to 61,000 deaths. You can also get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. They are separate viruses even though the symptoms are very similar. With the potential for health issues from the flu and/ or COVID-19 infection this year, it is more important than ever that each of us do our part to help prevent infections.
In my last update right before Labor Day, I focused on individual responsibility because that is really what this is all about. Each of us has and can continue to make a difference by our personal efforts and setting an example for others. Each of us has and can continue to protect the health and safety of our loved ones, and co-workers and, yes, even strangers that we may not know at all. NOW IS THE TIME TO REDOUBLE OUR EFFORTS. Keep washing your hands, practice social distancing, wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, and keep an eye out for those that are not being smart and walk (or run) the other way. Every little thing you do is going to add up to a big victory over this pandemic!
HR has sent out information on how and where to get your flu shot. If you have not received this information, please let your supervisor know. For those enrolled in BlueCross/BlueShield, the cost is free. For those of you not enrolled in our plan or enrolled in a plan with a spouse or significant other that does not have this benefit, we have made arrangements to cover the cost. Despite what you may have heard, you cannot “get the flu” from a flu shot. You can protect yourself and others by being proactive and getting your flu shot.
Halloween has arguably become one of the biggest holidays of the year and I know all your children (and some of you) love Halloween. This year, we can celebrate but we need to be mindful of the same safety precautions we follow every day. Know your local community guidelines for “trick or treating,” go over them with your children, follow them when others come to your house and, above all else, stay masked up even if outside when you cannot maintain a safe distance from others. The more we learn, the more the experts think this virus is transmitted through droplets in the air so remember, being outside does not mean you are safe if you are not behaving responsibly.
You have all done a terrific job and I am grateful and forever proud of the way the Rescar and AllTranstek families have responded to this crisis. Thank you, have a spooky fun time, and be safe.
- Joseph F. Schieszler, Jr., CEO