Despite the widespread belief that the pandemic is over, it hasn't. We still need to be aware and not panic. The below article covers all the required measures you can take to avoid it.
Scientists still want to know more about the severity of Omicron, but they are already convinced of two things. It is highly contagious and causes far more breakthrough infections than the delta type. Health officials urge Americans to step up their COVID 19 security measures now.
The need to take the boosters
Do not hesitate to get a booster vaccine, especially if you have never been infected with the coronavirus or if you are at high risk of developing a severe illness. As many studies have shown, Omicron has a remarkable ability to bypass vaccine-produced antibodies. The administration of two doses is not sufficient for the prevention of Omicron infections, especially if the vaccine doses were received more than three months ago. Booster vaccination reduces the risk of infection with Omicron and provides better protection against serious illness.
A booster will start protecting you within a few days, but it may take up to a week. Therefore, if you want to increase your protection in time for holiday, start right away. Mask yourself indoors in a public place and wear a better quality mask. Even if you have been vaccinated, it's time to cover up. Wear a mask in a public indoor area to protect yourself and your family.
This is especially important if your age or underlying health increases your risk of developing a serious illness or spending time with people at risk during your vacation. Scientists know that vaccines are not always protective for the elderly and people with immunodeficiency. You usually don't need to wear a mask outdoors, but it makes sense if you're in a crowd and you don't know the people's vaccination status.
Many experts say it's time to use the N95
or KN95 respirator, even in crowded indoor public spaces. A three-layer cloth mask, or surgical mask, effectively prevents the spread of infectious particles and provides some protection to the wearer (if fitted). Still, a suitable respiratory system is more comprehensive protection. If the N95 is not found, double masking with a surgical mask with a cloth mask also enhances protection, as said by professionals. No matter what you wear, it would be best if you fit it perfectly.
Shrink or cancel a Holiday party
It might be good to cancel a large indoor holiday party you plan to host or attend. Jha said his school had canceled a planned holiday party for 200 people. Given the study of Norwegian Omicrons, this is probably wise. In Norway, this variant seems to explode in a large indoor rally. At a large holiday party in Oslo, more than 80 people infected with Omicron infected the virus, so the incidence at the party was about 74%. Studies have shown that nearly 90% of participants received two mRNA vaccines. In order to prevent picking up Omicron just before the family visits, it might be best to skip the party as holiday is approaching.
"If you're going on vacation with your family, we recommend reducing your meetings in the coming weeks," tweeted Lucky Trang, head of the science advocacy group for the March for Science. As a guest, if you're at high risk (or living with someone) because of your health or age, it might be best to skip the party, is the belief of healthcare professionals. Instead of canceling, consider moving the party outside or making it very small. It only reduces the chances of the vaccine getting infected and does not eliminate it.
Use tests to make family gatherings safer
It's important to stay safe, but you should also be with your loved ones during this season.
These are some things you can do to ensure your family's safety during this time.
Ask your family to test if rapid antigen testing is available, especially if you are traveling from other parts of the country. Additionally, guests need to ensure they get the test on the meeting day since "testing is just a snapshot." The reason for this is that person who has just been exposed to a virus, and it is still in culture, can be negative one day and positive the next.
Ideally, after flying for the first five days or so, it's ideal for testing every day, but he understands that this isn't always practical, so it's perfect when traveling. It is essential to wear a mask. According to the experts, testing is not an ideal strategy, so it is probably best to wear a mask at a gathering for the high-risk population.
Rapid antigen testing is not cheap. Even the cheapest ones cost in the $ 10 to $ 12 range per test. The Biden government announced plans to address earlier this month: people with private health insurance can now reimburse the cost of testing at home, and health clinics offer free testing to uninsured people.
Those are the means by which you can ensure that Omicron does not disrupt your holiday gathering. You don't necessarily have to cancel your vacation plan, but you need to be very careful. Although not required, domestic travelers are advised to take pre-flight and post-arrival tests, especially if they are visiting someone in a high-risk group. If you are unvaccinated, over 65 years old, or have a medical condition that might increase your risk of serious illness, be sure to ask if it is appropriate for you to travel with COVID 19. And, don’t forget to wear your mask
Don't forget that you will only be able to attend more holiday parties if you have many more beautiful years to live ahead. Your one step backward is a one step forward to prosperous health and safer life for yourself as well as for others. We wish you a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year!