How do you Handle COVID19?

Doctor is in a home visit to a senior man and takes him sample for corona virus testing

How do you handle possible exposure to COVID19? Now that COVID is not in the news every day, have you dismissed it as a force in your life? Do you still take precautions? What is your level of precautions? Totally paranoid or dismissive? Different people handle the threat of COVID19 in different ways depending on their age, chances of exposure and even their politics. In my opinion, COVID19 is a public health issue and not a political issue no matter how hard our politicians may have tried to make it so. I prefer to look at the virus as a matter of public health. It has, after all, killed millions of people worldwide or caused illnesses they already had to kill them. If you look at the COVID statistics for your country or area, you may see that COVID still seems to be a pandemic and is still not simply endemic in most places since we are still having significant deaths from it and outbreaks from time to time. We can classify the flu as an endemic problem.

Personally, I have known of more friends and acquaintances getting COVID19 in the past six months than in the entire first couple of years of the pandemic. I’m assuming they are getting the Omicron 5 variant which is now predominant and is supposed to be incredibly transmissible. Whatever variant they are getting seems to be pretty bad. Hospitalizations and deaths are down. Most people I know have tried to recuperate at home. They have reported to me several days or a week of being violently ill with several weeks of recuperation afterward. It has taken time for them to get their energy back. The people I know who are older have had a hard recovery from COVID19, especially if they have underlying medical conditions which most of us develop as we age.

How do you protect yourself from COVID19 or do you? I’ll share with you what I do. I am an older American and I do have an underlying medical condition. I’ve had both COVID19 vaccinations and both boosters. If I’m talking to neighbors or friends on a one-on-one basis, I try to stay at least 6-10 feet away from them because I feel social distancing is important and effective. However, if I think I’m going to be in a crowd, even a small crowd, I wear a mask. For example, if I’m going to shop at a store like Wal-mart or the grocery store, I always wear my mask. I either use disposable masks and only wear it once or twice or I launder my masks often. If I need personal services like the hair salon or nail salon, and certainly when I go to medical appointments, I wear a mask.

Let me say a word about masks. I hate them. They make me claustrophobic and I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack. I wear them anyway.

I still don’t attend big events at all. Sporting events, concerts and other large venue events are out for me as are bars and nightclubs. The virus is going to have to abate before I feel comfortable with these large events. I will occasionally go in a restaurant, but I like to choose those that have patio dining. I wear a mask.

Perhaps the thorniest problem I have encountered is get-togethers with family. Some of my family have taken COVID19 seriously and some have not,. I”ll have to admit that, in the interest of family unity and peace, I don’t wear a mask when I’m with my family, even extended family. I trust them to tell me if they think they have been exposed to COVID. I realize this may be my downfall!

Since the scientists predict that COVID19 will become endemic, we’re all going to have to figure out how to manage possible exposure to the virus. It’s an individual choice although in my area, medical facilities still require masking. But, in general, we as responsible individuals have to decide our own response that will protect both us and those with whom we are in contact.

Comments and discussion are encouraged and welcome!

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