Updated: Feb 4, 2021
As we round the corner from late fall into winter a couple of precautions come to mind. Seeing that COVID-19 cases across the country are on the upswing, there are several things I am obliged to tell my clients in order to keep them safe this fall and winter.
1. Listen to the scientists.
These are people who have spent many years studying infectious disease and public health. It is these scientists who our leaders should be turning to for advice on how to keep Americans safe from this virus. You wouldn't have your plumber perform your appendectomy so why wouldn't you listen to the public health officials for safety guidelines during a pandemic?
2. Wear a mask.
Properly fitted masks work to slow the spread of the virus. The mask must cover your mouth and nose. A recently published paper estimates that there will be 500,000 dead Americans by the end of February, 2021. The authors are estimating with that with proper universal mask wearing we can prevent 130,000 of these deaths. Wear a mask for your sake and for the well being of others.
3. Maintain social distancing guidelines.
Why does social distancing work? COVID-19 spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, etc and virus droplets are released from their mouth and nose and you come into contact with the virus. The virus can be aerosolized, staying in the air and not falling to the ground. By keeping distant from an infected person you decrease your chances of coming into contact with the virus. It is important to remember that asymptomatic people can also be infectious.
4. Avoid indoor gatherings. Why? Poor ventilation. If there is an infected person and there is poor ventilation, the virus will linger indoors. The problem with indoor dining is that you are in an indoor space with your mask off for an extended period of time.
5. Wash you hands.
COVID-19 is a coronavirus which is easily killed by soap. Wash your hands properly to reduce your risk of infection.
We are all suffering from quarantine fatigue, it is important to remember that the symptoms of quarantine fatigue are less harmful than COVID-19. At this point, we don't know all the long term effects of COVID-19 infection. The best thing we can do for our own health is to prevent infection in the first place.
Stay healthy and be well. If you are overwhelmed with your current health situation, please don't hesitate to reach out to me, Melissa Hakim MD, your health advocate. 484-533-7822 firstname.lastname@example.org.