What to do with Omicron this Christmas season – To world

Omikron is there. Really here. Wildfire is not a suitable analogy. It’s more like the shock wave of an explosion. The rate of spread is unlike anything scientists have seen before – in the UK, the falls are doubling every 1.5 days.

Exponential growth is hard to understand, so here’s a perspective: If the U.S. has 5,000 Omicron cases right now – a real possibility – it will be 320,000 by Christmas. By New Years Day it will be 5.1 million. Three days later, 20.4 million. That’s just a simplified formula, but you get the idea.

I have to say I am not canceling my Christmas plans (a fact that may be postponed if there is new travel advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Family contact at this point in the pandemic is not a luxury, but a need, and for many, this is the only time of the year when they have enough time to see their family. I have a 3 year old and his grandparents missed so much of his childhood thanks to the pandemic. I feel comfortable in this election because, as a vaccinated and healthy person, I simply do not have a very high risk of severe Omicron disease.

It is important to remember for the moment that this is not a rollback to 2020. Though you may need it think some things through carefully, and rethink things that would take place You don’t have to cancel all of your plans right before you travel. Now there are tools that can help you keep yourself, your family, and your community safer – without locking yourself off. It may seem like the festivities are approaching too quickly to do anything meaningful, but with a twist growing in this clip, acting can still make a difference today.

Get a booster – or convince a family member to do so

The evidence that boosters against Omicron is getting stronger by the day. A preliminary study from South Africa found that there was now two doses of the Pfizer vaccine only 33 percent effective in preventing symptomatic omicron infections (compared to about 80 percent in the Delta era). A booster can increase this protection back up to almost 70 percent – in part because the third shot not only “boosts” your antibody response, but also stimulates your immune system to do so new iterations of antibodies helping to bring Omicron into submission. Yes, two doses still help against serious consequences – thanks immunological memory– but it is important to reduce your chances of a mild breakthrough case as vaccinated people can still spread the virus and it is possible to have long COVID from a mild case. Besides, who wants to be sick?

You might assume it is too late to do something in time for the holidays if you haven’t received a booster by now. So why deal with the potential side effects? We all think of the “two week” period as the time for the vaccine to become fully effective. This is both true and not true. Yes, immunity takes time to kick in – but it’s not that a magic switch is thrown on day 14. And with boosters, this may be even less the case with some advantages accrue within a few days. Even if you can’t get a boost as soon as possible, the sooner you do in January, when everyone returns from their holiday get-togethers (and possibly with the virus in tow), the better protected you will be.

Despite these perks, booster messaging has been muddy and a lot of people parried the third bump. And while you may be following every turn in the news, it isn’t everyone: About 70 percent of vaccinated adults have not yet received a booster shot. It might be worthwhile to make a few calls now to make sure your family isn’t among them. Or you can even offer to bring her to the appointment yourself.

Get a better travel mask

The days when a bandana was considered a face mask are long gone, and indeed, it may be high time to give up the surgical and simple cloth masks. While experts point out that these offer some protection, especially if they are used frequently, when you breathe you can feel the air oozing out on your sides, can’t you?

Get respirators like N95 and make sure the mask fits snugly. N95s and similar respirators are much better at blocking the virus– both for the wearer and for those around you. The non-profit Project N95 Vets face covers to make sure they’re not counterfeit, and some can be shipped out right away. If you can’t get points, double your masks (or drag one Mask assembler-A kind of hideous device that greatly improves the fit and effectiveness of a simple surgical mask). I know it sucks.

Use quick tests just before collecting if you can find (and afford) them

It’s a crime that home rapid test kits cost $ 24 each and are difficult to find (and it’s also a crime that the government’s plan to reimburse insurers for them doesn’t start until mid-January ). But they’re useful for determining if someone is currently contagious – what you want to know before you sit at the dining table. If possible, take more than one test leading up to a meeting; They’re sold in packs of two for a reason, and they have one surprisingly highif imperfect, chance of catching someone who is contagious. It is important to do the second smear just before collecting, as the results can change surprisingly quickly. You could have a negative result in the morning and be contagious in the afternoon. If you’re new to the quick test, here’s an excellent one Video explainer how they work.

Develop an isolation plan

she could catch the virus no matter what precautions you take, and that is not a moral failure. The good news is that for the vaccinated (and especially the vaccinated) the case is likely to be mild. But it’s best to prevent it from spreading by developing a plan to hide a little. Since it can be difficult to distinguish COVID symptoms from other circulating viruses, get tested if you experience anything – fever, cough, sore throat. On Thanksgiving, a friend of mine thought he had allergies, but a quick test showed he had COVID. He quickly isolated himself, and no one else in his family – including his medically vulnerable father – contracted the virus. Thank God, Expertendenken isolation protocols for vaccinated people is slowly changing: as long as you’ve had your vaccinations, tested negative, and aren’t showing any symptoms, it is likely sure to show up in about five days.

Take part

As easy as it may be for you to visit Walgreens and get your vaccine, there are still millions of people struggling for access in America and billions around the world. If you have the time or money, You can volunteer with a local organization to help people find and make appointments, or make a donation to Global vaccine participation initiatives. There is no getting around the fact that COVID is a collective problem. Even the low-risk among us have spent so much time in various forms of lockdown for this reason, and are often overly focused and over-anxious about our personal risk when public health precautions are most important when they are for the good the group. As we move into this next phase of the pandemic, where the lucky ones among us are vaccinated, dressed in N95, and often able to do rapid tests, it may not be worth asking how you can further reduce your own risk by being yourself lock in. But what you can do to give other people the same support that you have.


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