How to Live Safely During COVID
As of this writing, 55% of all US citizens have been vaccinated against COVID. However, current COVID cases have almost exclusively been diagnosed in unvaccinated patients. Additionally, it is estimated that 20% of cases are from the delta variant. As we move forward in the pandemic, we must consider how to navigate life plans given there are some community members who either cannot or choose not to get vaccinated.
Here is some information on what you can do to help keep yourself and others safe:
Wear a mask
We understand that we are all sick of masks, but it is still important to wear one, even if you are vaccinated. There is a small chance that your body did not respond to the vaccine and you are not properly protected. Additionally, the virus will eventually mutate and leave us vulnerable to new variants.
Masks work! I have chosen to wear masks every year during flu-season when interacting with sick patients. Since instituting this practice, I have not once contracted the flu. Likewise, since the institution of the mask mandates we have seen record low levels of influenza this year. I personally did not see a single case in urgent cares or respiratory clinics this past season.
When in crowded spaces, especially indoors, consider layering masks or wearing an N-95 mask to help catch viral particles before they reach the airway. Also consider using a tighter filter or more layers of looser weave filters. Shoot for all the air that you breath in have to pass through fabric.
Do not touch your face
Statistically, we touch our faces around 23 times per hour, possibly more when we are anxious. With each touch, you are increasing the odds of bringing bacteria and viruses from your hands to places on your face, such as your eyes, nose, or mouth, that the COVID virus can easily enter.
Wash or sanitize your hands regularly. Being mindful of how many times you are touching your face can also be helpful, especially when you know you are entering a stressful situation.
If you cannot avoid crowded indoor or outdoor spaces, ensure that you are maintaining proper distance from other people, ideally at least 6 feet. The fewer people that are around you, the less likely you will be sharing breathing space with others.
The corollary is to make sure the space you are in has good airflow. A safe indoor environment should be large with as many open windows as possible.
Get vaccinated! Read our article about vaccinations for more information and to dispel some common misconceptions.