I’m curious about your stages of COVID precautions. I’ll get to mine later in this post.
Just to make it clear: I will always make sure I’m up-to-date on the COVID vaccinations. I’ll seek my second booster as soon as I become eligible. Even though the current vaccines are clearly outdated, they’re STILL a vast improvement over being unvaccinated. Even after the pandemic is over, I will continue to make sure to get enough Vitamin D and selenium for the rest of my life. Vitamin D and selenium should be treated as the seat belts and bike helmets of basic living.
Judging by wastewater viral loads for the USA as a whole, the current surge is closing in on the peaks of all pre-omicron surges. Due to cutbacks in official testing and reporting, the case numbers are grossly understated.
Due to the current surge, I’m following the same precautions I was taking at the height of this past winter’s surge and before I was fully vaccinated. For my next haircut, I will likely return to cutting my hair at home instead of going to Great Clips.
My reasons for continuing most or all precautions are these:
- Breakthrough vaccines are FAR more common now than was the case last year, prior to the first omicron surge.
- Even a “mild” case is plenty nasty. I’ve always hated being sick. Even the slightest hint of a fever stops me from doing anything. I hate sneezing, because it’s so loud, disruptive, and messy. I hate nose blowing, because that means I have to drop what I’m doing, reach for a tissue, and then go wash my hands.
- While hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths are lagging indicators, it’s clear that COVID-19 is STILL much worse than the pre-COVID flu outbreaks. Also, I’ve been hearing that the authorized antiviral drugs may be difficult to get.
- People are still getting Long COVID, and there’s still no clear guidance on how to prevent COVID from becoming Long COVID. (While I think that Vitamin D, selenium, and a healthier diet help, they’re not a substitute for avoiding big viral loads in the first place.)
My reopening process has multiple small steps. For myself, the steps are in rough order:
- Going to the barbershop instead of cutting my own hair.
- Going to outdoor events but with a mask on. Examples include parades, fairs, fireworks, and playing sports.
- Not masking up in outdoor areas where I cannot count on keeping 6 feet away from everyone else. Popular walking trails come to mind. This is as far as I got last summer.
- Not masking up in crowded outdoor environments, such as the ones I mentioned in Step #2 above.
- Going to indoor events with a mask on. Examples include Dave and Busters, parties, concerts, etc.
- Not masking up in public indoor spaces, such as stores and the venues mentioned in Step #5. This includes indoor restaurant dining.
- Travel: This includes air travel and staying in hotels. Air travel means spending hours sharing the air with other people in an indoor environment. Staying in hotels means spending lots of time sharing the air with other people (hotel employees and other hotel guests).
My return to the world of junk food will be sometime around Step 4, Step 5, or Step 6. Even in the post-pandemic world, I’ll be eating less junk food than I did in the pre-pandemic world. Yes, the short-term risks (infectious diseases and inflammation) are a bigger motivator than the long-term risks (blood cholesterol). Of course, avoiding the food coma and unquenchable thirst may be the biggest motivators of all.