I'm a Virus Expert and Here's How to Not Catch COVID
COVID cases are down in the U.S. and many areas have relaxed or totally eliminated pandemic restrictions, but that doesn't mean the virus is gone. People are still getting infected daily and new variants are popping up. That said, there are ways to help prevent getting COVID-19 and Eat This, Not That! Health talked with experts who explain besides getting vaccinated and boosted, ways to avoid the virus. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Why COVID Will Likely Surge Again
Dr. Robert Segal, M.D., Founder and CEO of LabFinder shares, "COVID-19 is likely to surge again because the virus has already repeatedly mutated into new and more contagious variants. Waning immunity and relaxation of public infection prevention policies also play a role in future expected surges and 'hot spots.' With policies growing more lax, more people gathering indoors and without physical distancing, and fewer people receiving vaccinations and boosters and wearing masks— a growing number of people are becoming vulnerable to infection or re-infection."
Avoid Travel if Possible
Erica Susky, an Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) in hospital epidemiology says, "Travel on a train or, especially an airplane is more of a risk. Common COVID-19 themes for risk are with a larger group of people from other households and indoors of which travel has. People are in quite small confines and may remove their masks to eat and drink. The time spent in travel will be longer (many hours) which increases one's exposure time to others."
Stop Going to Bars and Concerts
Susky says, "Concerts and bars usually involve larger crowds indoors. The added risk is though one could wear a mask, they would be removed to consume drinks. Alcohol can lower one's inhibition and tolerance for risk. One can try to keep a mask on as much as possible or may consume no or less alcohol so that their assessment of risk can remain intact. Mitigating risk here is a bigger challenge, but two good ways to do so are smaller events or those occurring outdoors."
Wash Your Hands
Dr. Segal reminds us to, "Wash your hands thoroughly and often. I like to refer to the CDC's guidelines for when & how to wash your hands, which include before touching your face, and after touching frequently-trafficked objects or surfaces such as door handles, shopping carts, etc."
Wear Your Mask at Certain Times
Mask mandates have been lifted now in most places across the U.S. but Dr. Segal says just because you don't have to wear a mask now doesn't mean you shouldn't. "Continue to wear a mask indoors, or when you can't physically distance yourself in large groups."
See Your Doctor
Boosting your immune system with Vitamin B, C, D and Zinc, as well as eating right, working out and getting good sleep all helps fight against COVID Dr. Segal recommends, "Paying a preventative visit to your doctor to ensure you are at optimal health."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
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