You don't need any equipment to keep fit at home, as today we're running you through some easy bodyweight exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home!
Caution: spoilers ahead for season two of Criminal on NetflixIf you missed season one of Criminal, get yourself back to Netflix (what else have you got to do?) and give it a watch now. It’s an unusual show; set almost exclusively in two rooms. Each episode is centred around a different character as they undergo a police interrogation for their part in a serious crime.With a stripped back set up with little to distract viewers, the acting needs to be seriously on point. The first series featured suspects played by David Tennant (see ITV’s Des for more superb creepiness from him), Hayley Atwell and Yousef Kerkour. The detective team, made up of Katherine Kelly, Lee Ingleby and Rochenda Sandall employed verbal gymnastics to try and trip the suspects into confessing what they knew.Now, the team are back for a second series; this time featuring A Suitable Boy‘s Shubham Sharaf as a new recruit, eager to make his mark. The suspects are an impressive line-up; Sophie Okonedo, Sharon Horgan, Kit Harrington and in quite the departure from Big Bang Theory, Kunal Nayyar.This series is as masterful as the previous one. The storylines are varied; from Sharon Horgan as an online vigilante to Sophie Okonedo as the churchmousey wife of a convicted killer. The twists are expertly woven into the narrative, impossible to predict and yes, the acting is definitely up to scratch. Keep an eye out in particular for Kit Harrington’s six-minute, to-camera monologue as Alex, an arrogant west London estate agent accused of rape.Harrington’s episode in particular is worth watching very closely (spoilers start here). Alex is, for lack of a better word, a prick. He owns a property company in Latimer Road. He wears an expensive suit with a pink shirt. His brown lace-up shoes taper into a point and above them, a hint of colourful sock is visible. He’s a walking, talking caricature of a grown-up public school boy used to being seen and heard, used to getting his own way. His, “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude echoes a thousand bosses who’ve mansplained, refused to listen and taken credit for women’s ideas. Alex is accused of raping a female employee after Friday night drinks. He details the events of the evening in a nonchalant manner. He’s thought of everything: who booked the Uber, who kissed who first, who suggested more drinks. It’s a defence delivered by a man who hasn’t even considered his actions might have consequences. However, as the episode goes on, and the detectives carefully leak their breadcrumbs of evidence, a shift begins to occur. Alex taps his foot and becomes increasingly shrill. He’s on the verge of losing it altogether when Detective Petit (Saraf) uncovers a piece of information from the victim’s past that means the case against Alex will be impossible to prosecute. In fact, the new evidence even suggests the employee might have planned it. The episode ends with Alex free to go but demanding an apology for what he’s just been through.This outcome may feel infuriating. Not only is Alex highly unlikeable, this narrative appears to play into the one that dominates Twitter every time a high profile rape allegation is dropped. How could a woman drag an innocent man’s reputation through the gutter so publicly? How will the accused go on in the face of such ruinous claims? As DCI Warren (Sandall) says in the episode, “I just don’t want that to be true, I don’t want any woman to be like that”.But of course, women aren’t like that. The Home Office estimates that just 4% of rape allegations are false; not that you’d know it from the Twitter mob who vilify the ‘anonymous’ woman who accused their favourite football or movie star of rape. But rape cases being dropped doesn’t automatically mean the victim lied, it means that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict.Rape cases are notoriously hard to prosecute; less than half even make it to court and, last year, just over 2,100 made it as far as getting either a conviction or an acquittal. That’s out of 97,000 cases of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration suspected to have occurred. In July, Harriet Wistrich, founder of the Centre for Women’s Justice told the BBC that these statistics sent out the message that rape had essentially been ‘de-criminalised’.So while Alex in the show might walk free, worrying about damage to his reputation (and if he is innocent, quite rightly so), what the episode is really doing is highlighting the difficult reality of reporting a rape. The detectives, and even Alex’s own lawyer, make it clear that Alex being free to go doesn’t necessarily make him innocent, instead “we decided that we cannot show you are lying.” Detective Myerscough (Ingleby) tells him. Alex demands justice for what he’s been through and written confirmation that he is innocent, but it is clear no help is coming. For women who report rape only to have their cases dropped, the outcome is the same. There is no comfort for what they’ve been through, no written confirmation they weren’t making it all up in the first place. The difference is that Alex leaves a free man with a reputation that will, if he is innocent, hopefully recover, but a rape victim remains trapped with the trauma of what happened to them. All of the episodes weave their own complicated tale but it is this one with Alex that really steals the show. So give it a watch, seethe and reflect and then do your homework on the reality of the situation. With rape prosecutions at a five year low, this is something that needs to change, now.If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?'The Duchess' Is A Comedy About Middle Class MumsDavid Tennant's 'Des' Will Keep You Up At Night"Malcolm & Marie" Is Coming To Netflix
In a new essay for New York Magazine, Emily Ratajkowski opens up about her experiences having her images used without her consent — and exactly how damaging that can be.In the essay, Ratajkowski describes several instances when others claimed ownership of her image. She writes about, for instance, being sued for posting a picture of herself to her Instagram account; the image in question had been taken by a paparazzo. The model is not the only celebrity who’s had this experience. Gigi Hadid and Khloe Kardashian have both been sued for posting images of themselves to Instagram.Later in her essay, Ratajkowski describes receiving notice that photographer Jonathan Leder was publishing a book titled Emily Ratajkowski. The book included hundreds of images of the model, including poctures Leder had taken of her in 2012. And the book was being published without Ratajkowski’s knowledge or consent. It was reprinted three times.At one point, the model tweeted about her objections to the book: “I’ve been resisting speaking publicly on the recently released photos by Jonathan Leder to avoid giving him publicity. But I’ve had enough. This book and the images within them are a violation. These photos being used w/o my permission is an example of exactly the opposite of what I stand for.” In the essay, she describes the “unrelenting” victim-blaming replies.Making matters worse, some of the images in the book had been taken during a photoshoot that seemed uncomfortable, to say the least: Leder asked Ratajkowski to pose in lingerie, then nude, though she hadn’t realised it would be a lingerie shoot. She describes the negative experience in detail in her essay. She also says that when Leder was contacted by a New York Magazine fact-checker, he responded by victim-blaming and calling Ratajkowski’s allegations “too tawdry and childish to respond to.”Ratajkowski’s essay is just one part of a larger collection of personal essays from the model, according to her recent Instagram post.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?'I May Destroy You' & The Brutal Truth Of ConsentGynecologist Charged For Sexually Abusing PatientsA Nurse Reveals ICE Is Performing Hysterectomies
Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online. From live-streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soon
Here’s a sentence you’ll be hearing a lot over the next several months: Get your flu jab. Experts, including top docs such as Anthony Fauci, MD, can’t emphasise it enough. Influenza immunisations can help us avoid a “twindemic”. They’re critical. But many people are wondering when is the best time to get a flu jab. If you get it too early, will the effects “wear off” before the end of flu season? We have answers. But first, a quick explainer about why flu jabs are so critical: “Getting the shot prevents influenza infection, which reduces the burden on our healthcare system and keeps your immune system protected from the flu,” explains Nate Favini, MD, the medical lead of Forward, a preventive primary care practice. “It also contributes to what’s called ‘herd immunity,’ which reduces transmission of the flu through the population and protects children, older adults and people with medical conditions from the flu.”In short: It reduces your chances of getting sick. It protects vulnerable populations from getting sick. And it reduces the likelihood that hospitals and health centres will become overburdened again, as flu season and the pandemic converge. Sounds like a win-win-win situation, right? Right. So, now that you’ve committed to getting your flu jab, here’s everything you need to know about when to do it. What’s the best time to get a flu shot? Late October, explains Dr Favini. Here’s why: There’s some evidence that getting a flu jab too soon in the season — such as August or September — might leave you with waning immunity by January or February, he says. That can be a problem, because flu season typically lasts through March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This might be especially true for people over 65 who don’t tend to have as strong of an immune response to vaccines,” Dr Favini says. “On the other hand,” he continues, “getting a jab early is dramatically better than not getting a jab at all. So while I tend to think that late October is the optimal time to get a flu jab, if you have a chance to do it sooner and might miss it later in the season, just go for it now.” After getting poked, it’ll take you about two weeks to build up immunity. When did the flu vaccine for 2020 become available? Manufacturers are rolling out the flu vaccine already, and doctors anticipate the full supply being in circulation by the third week of September, explains Charles Golden, MD, vice president and executive medical director, CHOC Children’s Primary Care Network. “Some places have the flu jab already, while others are still waiting on orders [from private manufacturers],” Dr Favini adds. Should you get your flu shot early? That question is more complicated than you might think. It’s possible that tens of thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths related to the flu could be avoided if older adults waited until October to face the needle, according to a 2019 analysis in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Dr Favini echoes this, and says the optimal time to go in is in October to ensure that the flu vaccine lasts through the winter.But in 2020, the jab may not be as accessible. There should be enough vaccines to go around — manufacturers produced 20 million more doses in 2020 than they did in 2019, because they’re anticipating higher demand due to the pandemic — but many folks got their jobs for free at school or at work last year. This year, so many people are working from home or unemployed, taking away that option. Instead, they’ll have to go out of their way to get it at pharmacies and doctor’s offices, potentially increasing their contact with others. Because of these barriers, some health experts are just encouraging people to just get the jab ASAP. When is too late to get a flu jab? Flu season typically ends in March, so there’s limited utility in getting jab in the spring. But, in this case, late is better than never. As long as strains of the flu (there are multiple, and the big ones are Influenza A and B) are still circulating, you can get a jab. “It’s only too late when the seasonal supply of flu vaccine is exhausted,” Dr Golden says. “We typically recommend the flu vaccine for anyone who hasn’t had one in that season, even as late as April or May. Some protection is better than none.” Still, the most protection from the flu jab will be gained if people get vaccinated before the virus peaks in local circulation, which is expected to occur in December and January of this year, Dr Golden explains. What time of day should you get a flu jab? The body may have a stronger immune response when the vaccine is given in the morning, according to a study published in the journal, Vaccine. “That might translate to better immunity against the flu,” Dr Favini says. So sure, consider getting a jab before work — but honestly, there’s not enough evidence to prove this is true, or that the effect is particularly profound. So, if after work is more convenient for you, that’s fine. The important thing is to just get the jab. “The best time is whatever time is convenient and available for you and your provider,” Dr Golden emphasises. What are the side effects of getting a flu jab? Despite arguments to the contrary, science says you cannot get an influenza infection from the flu shot, Dr Golden assures. “There has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines, and hundreds of millions of Americans have received the vaccine,” Dr Favini adds. But side effects can include soreness, redness, swelling, headache, fever, nausea, and muscle aches. These side effects are typically mild and will go away in a couple days, he says. Could we run out of flu jabs this year? Yes, the push for getting a jab has been ramped up perhaps more this year than any other. But the flu shot likely won’t become the new Dettol wipe (i.e., it won’t run out and be out of stock for months). We’ll have enough in supply. “Manufacturers have ramped up production and the CDC anticipates that we’ll have enough vaccines to immunise 60% of the population here in the US,” Dr Favini says. “Only 45% of people get vaccinated in a typical year so I suspect we’ll have enough. There’s no need to panic.” So when and why should I get the flu shot in 2020? We’d be happy to say it a million times: Get your flu shot between now and late October. If you miss that window, get it anyway. And after you get it, keep doing all the things you’ve been doing to stay safe from COVID-19: social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands. “The more people that get vaccinated, the more we help protect more vulnerable people like babies who can’t get the flu shot and seniors who are more likely to become very ill with the flu,” Dr Favini says. “Your shot can save the life of someone you know.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Will This Be The Worst Flu Season Yet?Is Hair Loss The New Lasting COVID-19 Side Effect?I'm 27 & I Was Hospitalised With Coronavirus
Exclusive: ‘The money we take from a customer is placed into a trust, and we can’t get at that money until the customer returns from holiday,’ says new chief executive, Alan French
On Imitation of Christ-wearing skateboarders in LA, on models in Anna Sui’s dollhouse, on crystal-embellished beings in the land of Libertine — everywhere we look during the first digital New York Fashion Week are face masks, each one more stylish than the last. Not that we are entirely surprised: Face masks are one of this year’s most used accessory, after all. So much so that, over the last few months, designers have taken to vamping up the protective items with gemstones, bows, flowers, and chain accessories. (Louis Vuitton is currently selling a $961 (£800) LV Monogram face shield.) So, naturally, when Zero + Maria Cornejo debuted a quilted, navy blue mask on Monday, we knew it’d be one of many to come. The number of face masks appearing during an almost entirely virtual fashion week is proof that PPE has also become a mode of expressing one's sense of style and identity — one that's as frequently included in collections as other accessories like crochet bucket hats and Teva sandals (Sui). (It also serves as a reminder that we should all continue to wear masks to reduce COVID-19 spread.) And, with collections from some of fashion’s most popular mask designers — including Collina Strada, Christian Siriano, and Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet — still to come, we have a feeling the best is yet to be seen. For now, click ahead to see how designers have approached this year’s most essential fashion item thus far. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Sweatsuits: The NYFW Trend We Should Have Expected7 Indie Fashion Boutiques To Support Now22 Pairs of Leather Trousers To Buy For Autumn
Misogyny is more vicious than sexism and more violent than chauvinism. The word is widely used these days, particularly since the MeToo movement went viral and added much-needed legitimacy to the (often violent or threatening) abuse and discrimination that women have been experiencing since time immemorial. Despite its reasonably sudden rise to ubiquity, misogyny is more than a buzzword. It’s not an invisible, nebulous concept. It’s a hatred of women that informs and underpins abuse and violence from rape to domestic abuse, stalking to upskirting. And report after report confirms that it is as widespread as it is insidious. According to research conducted by the End Violence Against Women Coalition, more than two thirds of women of all ages have experienced sexual harassment in a public space. This statistic rises to 85% when recording the experience of women aged 18-24. And according to data from Plan UK, 66% of girls aged 14-21 have experienced unwanted sexual attention or harassment in a public place. And yet, misogyny is not technically a hate crime in this country, unless you live in a particular area. In 2016, Nottinghamshire Police became the first police force in the country to enable women and girls to report cases of abuse and harassment specifically as misogyny under their Misogyny Hate Crime policy. Since then, what they have found is serious and concerning. They have recorded incidents of stalking, groping, indecent assault and kidnapping as misogynistic hate crimes. They did not initially include domestic abuse as it was already a distinct criminal offence. However, at a briefing in parliament which took place before the coronavirus lockdown, those involved in the scheme said: “Our experience of delivering training to the police tells us that, even though domestic abuse is not included within the hate crime policy, officers are often able to recognise that misogyny is likely to be at the root of this too. Similarly, we are aware that misogyny hate crime can act as a bridge to women talking about (and recognising) other forms of violence against women.”Following the example of Nottinghamshire Police, North Yorkshire, Avon and Somerset, and Northamptonshire also made misogyny a hate crime. This means that there are four forces in the country recording figures on misogynistic hate crimes. Now, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, and a number of influential women’s rights organisations (including Citizens UK, Plan UK, the Fawcett Society, Women’s Aid, Refuge, the Jo Cox Foundation and many others) are calling for a national, top-down piece of legislation that would require all police forces to do the same. Sadly, during lockdown, while most aspects of our lives were on ice, violence against women rose. There were increased reports of street harassment and reports of domestic abuse went up. In London alone, researchers at the London School of Economics found that the Metropolitan Police received around 380 more calls a week reporting such incidents, compared to the same period last year. Consequently, those behind the campaign to make misogyny a hate crime across the country say it’s more urgent than ever. Creasy, who tabled an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill earlier this year, tells Refinery29 that “a change in the law to ensure women are protected from harassment and abuse is long overdue”. By making this change, she adds, it would be easier for “police and courts to act”. A hate crime is currently defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as “a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.” The experts involved in this campaign argue that this definition does not capture gender-based violence against women. As you might expect, there has been much opposition towards and misinformation directed against the question of whether or not misogyny should become a hate crime. In 2018, Piers Morgan questioned whether wolf-whistling was “hatred” on Good Morning Britain. But as all of the research shows, this is bigger than that. Dr Charlotte Proudman, a barrister at Goldsmith Chambers and junior research fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge explains: “As a barrister, I see ample examples of abusive behaviour that is misogyny but is not captured in our law. Citizens have a right to legal redress for misogyny. It’s time that our government recognised misogyny as an abusive practice and amend the law accordingly.”Similarly, Dr Loretta Trickett, a criminologist at Nottingham Trent University, and Professor Louise Mullany, a linguistics expert at the University of Nottingham, who conducted a report assessing the impact of Nottinghamshire Police’s decision to make misogyny a hate crime, emphasise the importance of making this change. It would, they said, “enable recognition of the deeply ingrained misogyny which lies behind many domestic abuse offences, and is an issue which has been overlooked for far too long.”Knowledge is power. Unless we are recording instances of misogynistic hatred we can’t know how many women are being affected by it across the country. Making misogyny a hate crime wouldn’t actually criminalise any behaviour that isn’t already a criminal offence. What it would do, however, is enable us to collect national data to build an accurate picture of the challenges and abuses women face day in, day out. In doing this, we would at once be able to better protect women by identifying particularly dangerous places and crack down on those hotspots.The impact of misogyny really cannot be underestimated. As we’ve reported at Refinery29, outside busy abortion clinics all over the country women and pregnant people are being accosted by aggressive anti-abortion protestors who chant, hold signs bearing graphic images and go out of their way to intimidate anyone working in abortion services or accessing this vital medical procedure. Eve Veglio-White of the campaign group Sister Supporter, which has been working to get buffer zones implemented to protect clinic staff and users from this harassment, explains that “misogyny and abortion access are intrinsically linked. The persistent harassment and intimidation of clinic users in recent decades has been allowed to continue despite overwhelming evidence of harm caused to women and pregnant people.”“This is gendered harassment, and we truly believe it would not have continued this long if it was a cisgendered men’s healthcare facility,” she adds. Living in a country where misogyny is a fact of life also affects women’s mental health. Last year the Young Women’s Trust partnered with University College London and the Economic and Social Research Council to produce a report on this. Their findings were staggering: young women aged 16-30 who experience sexism were over five times more likely to have clinical depression than young women who had not had this experience (a stronger likelihood compared to women aged 31-93, who were 2.4 times more likely to have depression). Sexism is more strongly associated with depression, poor mental functioning, poor life satisfaction, fair/poor self-rated health and reports of limiting longstanding illness in women aged 16-30 than in the overall sample (aged 16-93).Following an amendment to the Upskirting Bill, the government instructed the Law Commission to carry out a review of all hate crime, and to consider incorporating misogyny as a new category for hate crime. This review is ongoing as it has been delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.For as long as misogyny – the hatred of women – is not officially defined as a hate crime, the behaviours it perpetuates are implicitly being legitimised. By extension, women’s experiences of gender-based abuse, harassment and violence are delegitimised. A change in the law would tackle this once and for all and, crucially, finally make it clear to men and boys that it is unacceptable to abuse women. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Two Years After Me Too, What Has Actually Changed?Women Are Still Being Harassed In The StreetsHow The Domestic Abuse Bill Could Save Lives
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny. This week: "I’m a 28-year-old office executive for a recruitment firm/freelance content writer living in Belfast with my husband (C). I grew up between Northern Ireland and the Middle East but came home to live in 2015. Over lockdown, fearing I’d lose my job, I was extremely frugal and it triggered a lot of deep insecurities I had towards money (flashbacks of making £20 last me a month during my master's in Newcastle, living off freebie library coffee etc.). C and I decided that as this month will mark 10 years together, we would treat ourselves! Especially considering that we had to cancel a pretty big holiday to celebrate said 10 years. I am also building up my portfolio as a freelance article and content writer – something I wish I could have pursued sooner but unfortunately earning a steady wage had to come first. The article gigs are coming in slowly. At present I am helping a long-time client (S) with her Viking erotica." Industry: Recruitment/HR Age: 28 Location: Belfast Salary: Full-time job £20,000, freelancing £400-600 a month depending on jobs. Paycheque amount: £1,372 + £400 monthly average in freelancing gigs. Number of housemates: One (husband). Monthly Expenses Housing costs: My half of rent comes to £250 but I transfer £300 as C usually picks up groceries. Loan payments: £0. I am not nearly educated enough to feel comfortable with a credit card/loan. Utilities: £20 gas per month, £20 electricity per month. I am aware of how crazy cheap this is. £30 for unlimited internet with EE. Transportation: Nada! I live a short walk from the city centre and haven’t travelled home to the country as Mum is shielding. I walk EVERYWHERE. There is not a single point in Belfast that I need to get to which is more than an hour’s walk away. Phone bill: £21. I have a SIM only deal with EE which gets us discounted internet and more than enough mobile data – a must-have for the amount of podcast-listening I do on my walks. Savings? Most of our savings, including all our wedding money, went towards supporting my mum when she came home. She has been so ill for most of my adult life and has lost a lot of her independence. We have started to build up a pot again, with £10,000 in savings. Not sure if we will use this for a house deposit or not, as the idea of settling somewhere FOREVER does not appeal to me. I deposit £300 into it every month (bar this month, treat yo’self in the name of love babbbyyyyy). Other: Fellow Creatures vegan chocolate subscription box £12. Mum's private healthcare £11, this comes out of my salary automatically.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: An Operations Manager On 40kMoney Diary: A Social Media Manager On 29kMoney Diary: A Medical Writer On 35k
Overachiever, campaigner and writer Amika George has accomplished more than most aged 20, but – as she says – it’s time for the adults to step up
Fashion Month isn’t exactly known for producing wearable trends. And yet, when New York, the first of the four cities to hold the Spring 2021 shows, began its first all-digital showcase on Sunday, it presented looks that are a lot more attainable than in years past. It makes sense: With most of our lives spent at home now and in the foreseeable future, there is no need for extravagant dresses or out-there trends. And, given that sweatsuits have become the unofficial uniform of the pandemic, it makes even more sense that versions of the style (albeit much more fashionable than typical offerings) made their way into the shows of even the most high-fashion designers. (Masks, another necessity of the pandemic, also appeared frequently.) Sustainable designer Zero + Maria Cornejo debuted a stunning silky hot pink top with matching pants that looked like it could take its wearer from lounging in bed to jumping on a last-minute Zoom call and taking a walk outside. A collection that served as “a love letter to New York City,” it also showed other appropriate-for-today wear, including a white hoodie-shorts set and a coordinating mask-and-jacket look. Buzzy brand PH5 — whose new collection spread awareness about climate change and the bushfires that devastated Australia earlier this year, and cast members of the Firesticks Alliance, an Indigenous Australian-led organisation, as models — showcased a printed pair of lounge-like pants with a coordinating sweatshirt and bucket hat, as well as knit matching sets. Even Rodarte, Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s label more known for its ethereal dresses and layered lace skirts, showed an athletic-inspired sweatsuit, emblazoned with “J’Aime Rodarte” on the sweatshirt and sweatpants a la its Rodarte x Depop offerings, and floral pyjama sets. Given that NYFW has a few more days left, it’s likely that many more brands will present their version of the style that we’ve come to live in (and love) over the past six months. See some of the NYFW-approved sets in the slideshow ahead and check back as we add more looks from the forthcoming presentations.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?22 Pairs of Leather Trousers To Buy For AutumnThis Is H&M's Most Sustainable Collection YetThe Winners Of The 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards Are...
Flu season is coming. While influenza circulates year-round, outbreaks are most common during the autumn and winter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Paired with the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, experts are warning that we’re about to have a twindemic on our hands. Although it sounds pretty grim, there are ways we can get through this tumultuous winter unscathed.“Our fear is that with COVID being in the community, we’re going to see increased rates of hospitalisations,” Michael Richardson, MD, a One Medical provider based in Boston, MA, tells Refinery29. He says that’s a real concern, because it looks like you can have both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. “We don’t know how frequently that happens, but as you can imagine having two very severe respiratory illnesses at once is not going to be good for your health,” he says. You could also develop the flu or COVID-19, start to recover, and then get the other virus on top of it. “That’s going to be a double hit,” Dr Richardson explains. “We just don’t know how well people are going to respond to a very severe virus when you’re still recovering from another. That’s our worry.”Differentiating between seasonal influenza and COVID-19 could be a struggle this upcoming flu season as well. The symptoms of the two illnesses are pretty similar, due to the fact that they both coronavirus mainly attack our respiratory system.“Flu symptoms can look like COVID symptoms: fever, body ache, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. COVID can present in the same way,” says Dr Richardson. “But COVID actually has a lot more symptoms with it as well, the random things like rashes, COVID toes, sore throat, heart issues, brain issues…” He notes that we’re still learning about COVID-19 and all of its symptoms because it’s so new. “It’s going to be very hard to tease out what’s flu and what’s COVID,” he says.To stay safe, your best bet is to get your flu jab sooner rather than later, says Dr Richardson. While it won’t protect you against the coronavirus, it will help you to prevent getting certain strains of the flu and it will prevent you from getting more ill than you would have if you didn’t have the jab.“If we can prevent at least one of these viruses, we’re going to significantly decrease the impact of these respiratory diseases during this season,” he says. And Dr Richardson notes, the flu jab will not give you the flu: “I can’t say that enough.” (This is a myth that pops up just about every flu season, but this year it’s especially critical to bust it. Everyone who can must get the jab. It’s part of our civic duty to keep ourselves and each other safe.)Besides popping out to get your flu jab, continue practicing all of the precautions you have been since coronavirus landed in the UK: social distancing, wearing a mask, and practicing hand hygiene. “Just getting the flu jab doesn’t mean you can walk around not wearing a mask and not social distancing,” he says. “These are all tools that, when working together, can significantly reduce the population’s risk at contracting these two viruses.”And if you do develop any flu-like (or COVID-like) symptoms, behave as if it were COVID, even if you get back a negative COVID test. “Just because you have a negative test doesn’t mean it’s not there,” Dr Richardson says. Call your doc — unless you develop symptoms like shortness of breath, in which case you should head to a hospital or GP. They’ll most likely recommend that you stay at home and quarantine. That’s because even if it is the flu, the last thing you want is to be out spreading the illness at a time when so many people are so vulnerable. (Like with coronavirus, people with the flu are typically contagious before developing symptoms, so it’s important to be extra-cautious.) Stay put, and let’s all try to stay safe this season.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?I'm 27 & I Was Hospitalised With CoronavirusIs Hair Loss The New Lasting COVID-19 Side Effect?Friends On Furlough: How Corona Shapes Socialising
The buzzy new Sky-HBO co-production brings together a starry cast including Jude Law, Katherine Waterston and Naomie Harris, but struggles for thrills in its opening episode