As we enter another winter season in which COVID-19 remains a credible threat, it’s important that we all keep our guard up. With a huge chunk of the populace still unvaccinated and the Omicron variant entering the U.S., we all need to continue taking certain precautions. While getting vaccinated and masking up in public is certainly a good start, take care to stay on your toes and avoid becoming complacent. Anyone looking to steer clear of COVID-19 this winter should heed the following pointers.
Get Vaccinated and Stay Current with Boosters
The most effective way to protect yourself – and the people around you – from the novel coronavirus is getting vaccinated. The vaccines that are currently available are safe, effective and administered free of charge at an extensive range of pharmacies and healthcare facilities. While it’s best to not view vaccination as an end-all solution against infection, being fully vaccinated will provide you with an advanced level of protection from serious and fatal cases of COVID-19. Needless to say, you are much better off with the vaccine than without it. So, unless you suffer from a medical condition that makes vaccination a risky venture, you’d do well to get your vaccine.
In addition to getting your initial vaccine shots, you should make a point of staying current with boosters. Currently, all adults who are at least six months past their last vaccine dose are eligible for boosters. Conversely, adults who received the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine should be at least two months past their most recent dose. So, if this describes you, take care to get your booster shot at your earliest possible convenience. Additionally, there’s a good chance that COVID boosters will be a regular part of our lives for the foreseeable future, so even after you’ve received your first booster, stay current with news from the CDC to ascertain when you’ll be eligible to receive subsequent boosters.
For added protection, you should also get your flu shot. The importance of keeping up with vaccinations is among the many lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us. Even if you haven’t gotten a flu shot in years, it’s never too late to get on board. Flu season combined with the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus is a surefire recipe for danger, so you’d best go in prepared.
Continue Taking Common-Sense Precautions
Although many states and businesses have been relaxing – if not outright getting rid of – their masking policies in the wake of vaccine availability, this seems to have been a bit premature. While the goal was to provide people with incentive to get vaccinated, placing the country on the honor system may have been a misstep in this instance. For example, since most businesses aren’t requiring patrons or employees to show proof of vaccination, a staggering number of stores and workplaces are teeming with unvaccinated, unmasked individuals.
For this reason, you should make a point of masking up and practicing social distancing whenever you’re in a public setting. Even if you’re fully vaccinated and current with your boosters, you’d be wise to avoid taking any unnecessary chances. Breakthrough infections have been known to occur – as they do with virtually any virus – so regardless of how tired you are of masking and other safety measures, it’s in your best interest to continue taking common-sense precautions.
Be Mindful of Symptoms
If you begin exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, it is your responsibility to get tested as soon as possible. To schedule a test or get more information on COVID symptoms, promptly get in touch with your doctor or healthcare provider. Keep in mind that if you’re symptomatic, they may not want you coming into their offices. Ohio residents on the hunt for a dependable family doctor should pull up their preferred search engines and enter “general family medical practice Mason, OH” into the search bar.
With yet another COVID-impacted winter season upon us, it is incumbent on all of us to act responsibly. Sure, the ready availability of vaccines is a positive sign, but with new variants appearing and a large number of people refusing to get vaccinated, it’s not yet safe to start regarding COVID-19 as a non-threat. So, if you’re interested in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from the novel coronavirus this winter, don’t hesitate to take the measures discussed above.