WE KNOW HOW difficult the coronavirus has made the last year, and we know how eager everyone is for things to go back to normal. The temptation to act like they already have is very real, but it’s critical that we stay the course now that we can see the vaccination light at the end of the tunnel. How frustrating would it be to catch the virus now, when we’re so close to being protected from it?
Social Distancing Still Matters
Staying at least six feet apart from people not within our household whenever possible is an important way to minimize risk, both for ourselves and for those we encounter who are in more vulnerable groups. The longer we stay in one place among people not from our household, the greater the risk. Fortunately that means a quick trip to the grocery store is fairly safe.
When we’re in public — especially when we’re indoors — we should continue to wear masks. The virus travels via respiratory droplets in the air, but if everyone’s wearing a mask, then it stops most of those droplets before they can get out where they might infect someone. Because we might be infected without realizing it, masks are just as important for protecting the people around us as they are for protecting us.
Keep Washing Up and Disinfecting
Simple soap and warm water is extremely effective at destroying germs that get on our hands and skin, which is why we keep hearing so much about washing our hands. Make sure to spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing, and make sure you’re not just getting your palms, but every surface!
Self-Isolating Protects Friends and Family
Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (the most common of which are fever, shortness of breath, a dry cough, and fatigue) or anyone who has come in contact with someone who tested positive should get tested and self-isolate as much as possible to keep the virus from spreading. According to the CDC’s guidelines, we should self-isolate until at least ten days after the symptoms started.
The Vaccines Don’t Mean Instant Immunity!
A growing number of people have been fortunate enough to already get one or both of their vaccine doses, but keep in mind that the protection the vaccines offer isn’t instantaneous. It takes time to generate antibodies, so don’t throw your masks away and start hugging strangers the minute you get the vaccine. Continuing to wear a mask and practice social distancing after vaccination also protects other people, because we don’t yet have confirmation that the vaccines prevent transmission as effectively as they prevent infection.
Bring Questions to Your Health Care Providers
Like the virus itself, there’s a lot of false information floating around, so make sure you’re getting your information from good sources, such as the CDC and your healthcare providers. If you want to know what our practice has been doing to keep our team and patients safe during the pandemic, give us a call.
If we keep pulling together, we’ll make it to the end of COVID sooner!