We’re far from out of the woods still when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic but it does seem we are nearing an end phase of the pandemic. Or at least closer to the end. Infection rates are dropping, as are hospitalization and death rates. As millions of doses of vaccines roll out into the general population, we can expect to see infection rates continue to drop even further.
While scientists and health agencies strongly recommend that state governments do not relax their mandates, Texas and Mississippi have already done so, allowing a full reopening of businesses and dropping of sanctions. This is ill advised and will most likely result in another local or regional spike of infections and hospitalizations in the coming weeks.
Right now, people are anxious, confused, and restless. But we have to see this through to the end and not jump the gun. Here are a few thoughts on how to proceed through the next few months.
Get tested….multiple times
If you have business to conduct in other states or with large groups of people and it absolutely cannot be delayed, you have significantly more options today than you would have 6 months ago. You can take an at home COVID test to screen your body for the SARS-CoV-2 infection and know your status within 24-48 hours. If you’re positive, you can get telehealth consultations for the next steps.
Testing is also available elsewhere, such as many Walgreens locations. If you decide to power forward with your planned business trips and meetings, that’s your decision. But you should be vigilant about getting tested so that you do not infect others.
There’s a reason why the NFL, NBA, major movie productions, and other industries are running daily tests on their employees and contractors. The more we test, the more we restrict the spread. This is why the lack of testing early on had such disastrous effects.
Boost your immune system
The stronger your immune system is the less likely you are to contract the coronavirus. This is just a matter of science, though it is unfortunate for people with immuno-deficiency conditions.
The best way to protect your immune system is to get regular sleep, plenty of exercise, and good nutrition. An added benefit is to take probiotics with healthy strains of bacteria (we know, it sounds counterintuitive) that can boost your immune response.
You should also consider that there are still plenty of other illnesses and viruses that didn’t just disappear because COVID has the spotlight. And if you get sick with one of these other viruses or ailments, you might have to go to the hospital, which once again exposes you to COVID.
The safest course of action you can possibly pursue right now is to keep your immune system in an optimal state of health. If you’re a parent, you have a responsibility to keep your childrens’ immune systems in tip-top shape, too.
Remember the science
If there’s a single possible silver lining to this whole nightmare, hopefully it will be for us to respect science more. If we had listened to the scientists, medical experts, and doctors from the beginning – as opposed to the politicians – we might have been able to curb our infection rate and manage the pandemic better.
As we move forward into the vaccine state of this pandemic, we’re at another major inflection point where it will be of critical importance that we don’t rush and try to completely reopen society and return to business as usual without taking the proper precautions.
First of all, we will need a critical mass of the population to receive a vaccine before we can achieve herd immunity as a society. Until then, there will continue to be a significant risk of a resurgence. So right now, the name of the game is trusting the medical science, thinking of your responsibility as a citizen, and not spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories that scare people into refusing vaccination.
When the time finally does come to transition back to business as usual and the life we remember, we should hold on to these values so that when the next pandemic arises (and it will, someday) we will be in a better position to survive it.
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