So there have been a lot of rumors floating around Amarillo, TX. and really all over the country that we could be going to a mask mandate again due to COVID-19. There's word that a new strain has evolved and there are worries it could send us back to somewhat similar levels of people getting sick.

Whether or not it becomes a requirement with the masks remains to be seen. I could be wrong, but I believe there's a law out there that says we can't be forced to wear masks, just highly recommend we do.

Regardless, the point is it sounds like illness season in the panhandle could be a bit rougher than usual, so there are measures we'll all want to take in order to stay as healthy as possible.

RSV, flu, and COVID are all expected to be running around, but there are ways for us to be able to mitigate how often we catch it or how sick we are from it. The Amarillo Public Health Department says that RSV is the most immediate concern.

RSV is tricky because it can present itself just like a common cold, just a bit more severe on the symptoms. It's highly contagious and is far more dangerous for kids than it is adults. It can turn into pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young children which can turn deadly for them if not diagnosed.

When it comes to COVID, Texas along with half of the United States has already seen an uptick in hospitalizations due to COVID so we know for a fact that it's coming back around.

The best thing you can do is pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel like you're getting sick, keep a close eye on it. Make sure you're washing your hands often to keep all illness away, not just COVID. With it being a heightened illness season, you can't be too careful.

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