It is understandable that you are annoyed, frustrated, afraid and tired: COVID-19 has everyone thrown a “curveball,” according to virus expert Michael Osterholm, when he spoke to GMA3, as the “more transmissible” Delta variant infects both unvaccinated people (making many very sick or dead) and vaccinated people (who are less likely to become seriously ill but who can still pass on the virus). How can you stay safe? Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, revealed 5 things you need to know. Read on for each – and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss this one Certain Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Pfizer’s CEO said this week that he expects more mutations from COVID. “Well, it’s certainly possible,” Osterholm said. “I think everything we’re looking at right now should give us a lot of humility, because this virus has definitely thrown us crooked balls. But right now, for example, with the Delta virus, we don’t see any evidence of that actually evading the immune protection of the [vaccinated] individual. We can certainly see that your protection may wane in six to eight months, which would then come into play with the booster. It’s so very contagious that we see that in some people that’s probably the breakthrough cases. These are people whose level of virus they were breathing was so great that it overwhelmed the protection of what the vaccine could provide. Remember, these people generally still have a much, much milder disease, but they still get infected.” That’s why getting vaccinated is so important. Keep reading for what the coming months may look like.
What will the coming months look like? “Unfortunately, it’s not clear. If we look at the patterns of how Delta has formed across the rest of the world, we see these very rapid bursts in cases and large rises. Like we’re seeing in the United States now. And then a fairly rapid decline in the number of cases, meaning they fell rapidly, but never go back to baseline.A good example is the UK, they started with 1,000 cases reported per day, at the peak they reached 47,000 cases per day, and then the number dropped rapidly, but it reached 26,000 and stabilized there. And today it is at 32,000. So we’re not quite sure what’s going to happen in this country. The states that have been hit the hardest and the ones that are probably really are at their peak only make up 12% of the U.S. population, and so the other 88% of the population is still really a “too early to call” situation — where we in the Northwest, we see in h et southeast, we see in the upper midwest: they fell at the beginning of these rises. The question will be, how high will they go? This will be a ‘stay tuned’ moment for the next six to eight weeks.”
“So what kind of masks should we wear and what kind should we avoid?” the GMA3 host asked. “Well, remember, every time we tried to do any kind of respiratory protection with a washcloth covering a surgical mask, what we call an N95 mask or respirators, you’re looking at two different problems,” Osterholm said. “You look at fit and filtration. Fit is how well it fits your face? How tight is it? If you’re leaking – that’s like having goggles that leak. How good is the filtration – that’s important because if you have air breathe through a cloth or through some kind of material, how well can the air move through it so that you actually continue to wear it – whatever cover you use.”
“One of the things we’re urging people to look at is using N95s, these kinds of masks that actually have electrostatic charges in the material, meaning there’s a way to catch the virus. The dimensions of the spaces in the mask are big enough to let you breathe easy I couldn’t have made this recommendation a year ago because today we didn’t have enough for our health professionals let alone the public we have more than enough supply So where we N95’s or KN95, for all ages, if possible.”
Follow public health basics and help end this pandemic wherever you live – get vaccinated as soon as possible; if you live in an area with a low vaccination coverage, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distancing, avoid crowds, don’t go in with people you don’t hide with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and that of others, don’t visit any of these 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.