The novel coronavirus and its growing number of variants are likely to remain an active threat for the foreseeable future. Thanks to vaccine hesitancy, abundant misinformation and a refusal to embrace common-sense precautions, infection numbers are rapidly on the rise in many parts of the country. Although many people are currently acting as if the COVID-19 pandemic is in the rearview, this is far from the case, and a true return to normalcy is unlikely to happen for a good long while. In the interest of avoiding potential exposure to the virus, put the following pointers to good use.
Get Your Vaccine – and Vaccine Boosters
When it comes to avoiding serious and fatal COVID-19 infections, nothing is more effective than getting vaccinated. Despite the massive amount of misinformation floating around the web and various agenda-driven media outlets, the COVID-19 vaccines are very safe and will provide you with ample protection against the novel coronavirus and its growing number of variants. Unless you have a medical condition that makes vaccination unsafe, you’d do well to get vaccinated at your earliest possible convenience and encourage others to do the same.
Furthermore, getting vaccinated shouldn’t prove difficult or time-consuming. Since vaccines are being administered at a broad assortment of pharmacies and medical facilities, it’s a safe bet that you won’t have to travel far to find a suitable vaccination site. Additionally, since COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Americans free of charge, cost needn’t be a concern, either.
In addition to getting vaccinated, make a point of keeping up with COVID-19 booster shots. As of late August 2021, booster shots are available to immunocompromised individuals, but in the coming weeks and months, even people without compromised immune systems will become eligible to receive them.
Continue Masking Up
As it turns out, placing the country on the honor system and getting rid of various mask mandates was a tremendous mistake. While this was meant to serve as an incentive to get vaccinated, it instead resulted in millions of unvaccinated people removing their masks, going about their business as if they’d received their vaccines and spreading virus particles left and right.
Although being fully vaccinated will provide you with tremendous protection against the novel coronavirus, it needs to be understood that the COVID-19 vaccines – and all vaccines, for that matter – are not impenetrable shields against the viruses they’re created to combat. Breakthrough infections are entirely possible, and since vaccinated individuals can still spread the virus, it’s recommended that you continue to wear a mask in public, regardless of whether your state, workplace or the businesses you patronize currently have masking rules in effect.
At the end of the day, placing a protective covering over your nose and mouth is an extremely small ask. Even if you don’t personally enjoy wearing a mask, these are unprecedented circumstances, and you can be troubled to deal with a minor inconvenience for the sake of public health. Mask aversion is a large part of why we’re in such an unenviable situation, so rather than contribute to the problem, be a part of the solution.
Run Errands Remotely
Since crowded public spaces continue to be hotbeds of infection, it’s in your best interest to avoid them whenever possible. Fortunately, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have made it easier for patrons to shop remotely and take advantage of no-contact pickup options. Even many mental health professionals and physicians are now allowing patients to attend appointments from the safety and comfort of home. Additionally, if you need a new medication or refills of medications you currently take, look into getting an online prescription.
It’s easy to see why other countries are so perplexed by the U.S. right now. Despite having more vaccine supplies than any other nation on Earth, a staggering number of Americans are refusing to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. As a result, COVID-19 continues to present an active threat to public health, as new variants pop up left and right and many states see a sizable increase in infection numbers. That being the case, it behooves everyone – even the fully vaccinated – to act in the interest of public health and take measures to avoid potential exposure.
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