By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus-related medical questions. If you have a question for Dr. Mallika, email her or message her on Facebook or Twitter.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

“My son is so bored and his spirits are down. He wants to work at Stop and Shop or at a restaurant. Is it simply not worth the risk to let him work?”– Suzy

A lot of young people are feeling the same way. They want to go back to school, sports, and work. In your son’s case, you’ll have to weigh the relative risks and benefits. Is he or anyone in your house at high risk? If so, it may not be advisable. Do you worry about his mental health if he does not get a job? Then maybe he should work. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to these types of dilemmas.

“I am over 65 and have some health issues. When I go to a food store I always have a mask on and everyone is wearing masks. When I get to my car I use hand sanitizer. Am I safe or do I need to do something else?” -John

Try to keep a good distance from other shoppers. Otherwise, if you have to go into a store, it sounds like you’re doing the right things to keep yourself as safe as possible. You could also consider grocery delivery to your home instead.

“Why are store dressing rooms closed? What is the risk?-Michael

When you’re in a dressing room, you’re in an enclosed space, potentially with other customers, potentially taking their masks off as they slip clothes on and off. The clothes then may have to be quarantined for 24 hours or steam cleaned between customers. I know some stores will let you try on clothing out in the open, but very few fitting rooms are available right now.

“At least five years ago, I got a flu shot then got a very bad cold type flu. I am told it can’t be from the flu shot. Could it have been from the preservative?” -Nancy

You can’t get the flu from the flu shot, but you can get body aches and cold-like symptoms as your body mounts an immune response. We also get flu shots during cold and flu season. So, what often happens is that you get the flu shot, then you come down with a cold and mistakenly believe the symptoms were from the flu shot, when they’re actually from another circulating virus.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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