Although few of us expected to still be dealing with the novel coronavirus in 2022, our daily lives will continue to be impacted by COVID-19 for a third straight year. Due to a large unvaccinated subset of the population and the emergence of new variants, COVID-19 is experiencing yet another resurgence as it rips across parts of the U.S. While you may not be able to change other people’s behavior, there are a number of things you can do to minimize your risk of infection this winter. Steering clear of the following behaviors can be a boon to your COVID safety efforts this winter season and beyond.
Mistaking Vaccination for Invulnerability
Make no mistake – getting vaccinated is the most crucial step you can take against COVID-19 infection. So, unless you have a medical condition that makes vaccination unsafe, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be vaccinated. However, it’s important to understand that vaccination does not provide you with invulnerability to the novel coronavirus, but rather serves to dramatically decrease the risk of serious and fatal infections.
Unfortunately, many people have embraced the idea that being vaccinated gives them free license to engage in reckless behavior. In addition to no longer masking up, these individuals regularly visit crowded places and take part in events that carry a high risk of infection. Such behavior stands to result in breakthrough infections – and even if said infections are mildly symptomatic or completely asymptomatic, the people you infect may not be so lucky. Furthermore, even asymptomatic COVID can do lasting damage to one’s body.
As much as all of us would like to completely resume our pre-COVID lives, acting as if vaccination is a magic wand cure can lead to dangerous results. Again, you should get vaccinated, but having your vaccine does not give you free license to stop wearing a mask, social distancing and taking other common-sense precautions.
Refusing to Get Your Booster Shot(s)
In order for COVID-19 vaccination to be maximally effective, you’ll need to stay current with boosters. People aged 12 and up who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and adults who received the Moderna vax should get a booster shot at least five months after their initial vaccination series. Alternatively, adults who received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine are eligible to receive a booster at least two months after their initial shot. Additionally, if you’re immunocompromised and an acceptable amount of time has passed since you received your first booster, you may currently be eligible to receive a second.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to get your booster, you shouldn’t hold out any longer. The sooner you receive your booster (again, provided the appropriate amount of time has passed), the sooner you can begin enjoying the additional layer of protection it offers. As COVID-19 continues to present a threat and new variants continue to emerge, regular COVID boosters are likely to become a regular part of life – and failing to keep up with them is liable to facilitate some truly undesirable consequences.
Losing Touch with Your Doctor
Even with COVID-19 foremost on everyone’s minds, you mustn’t neglect other matters pertaining to your personal healthcare. As such, you’d do well to remain in contact with your regular doctor throughout the course of the pandemic and stay current with annual physicals and other types of exams your physician recommends. Additionally, anyone who believes they’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus or experiences non-emergency symptoms of said virus should get in touch with their physician to help determine what their next steps should be.
If you don’t already have a general practitioner (GP), there’s no time like the present to start looking for one. Buckeye State residents searching for general family medical practice Milford, OH are unlikely to have trouble finding an assortment of suitable options.
The realization that we’re now entering the third year of an ongoing pandemic is certainly discouraging. Even those of us who assumed that COVID-19 would stick around for a while at the outset didn’t expect to still be living under the threat of this virus in 2022. While there’s no question that all of us would like the pandemic to end sooner rather than later, pretending that the danger simply doesn’t exist is unlikely to work out well for you. With that in mind, take care to avoid the following behaviors this winter – and beyond.