“Hang in There. Help is On The Way.”

The NY Times published an excellent segment on COVID-19. Here’s a link: “Hang in There. Help is On The Way.”

A guide to the last months (we hope) of the pandemic:

  • Hunker Down for a Little Bit Longer
    • Rising case counts and rising test positivity rates mean there is more virus out there — and you need to double down on precautions, especially if you have a high-risk person in your orbit.
    • Whether your bubble is just your immediate household — or you’ve formed a bubble with others — take some time to check in with everyone and seal the leaks.
    • Mask up. You’re going to need it for a while.
    • Watch the clock, and take the fun outside… If you’re spending time indoors with people who don’t live with you, wear a mask and keep the visit as short as possible. (Better yet, don’t do it at all.) 
    • Take care of yourself, save a medical worker.
  • Scale Back Your Holiday Plans
    • The only way to drive down infection rates for now will be to avoid large indoor gatherings, wear masks, cancel travel and limit your holiday celebrations to just those who live in your home.
    • Socialize outdoors the Scandinavian way.
  • Take Care of Yourself at Home
    • The vast majority of patients with Covid-19 will manage the illness at home. Check in with your doctor early in the course of your illness, and make a plan for monitoring your health and checking in again if you start to feel worse.
    • If you feel sick, you should be tested for Covid-19. A dry cough, fatigue, headache, fever or loss of sense of smell are some of the common symptoms of Covid-19. After you take your test, stay isolated from others and alert the people you’ve spent time with over the last few days, so they can take precautions while you’re waiting for your result.
    • While every patient is different, doctors say that days five through 10 of the illness are often the most worrisome time for respiratory complications of Covid-19.
  • Look for Better Days This Spring
    • The vaccines will be much less effective at preventing death and illness in 2021 if they are introduced into a population where the coronavirus is raging — as is now the case in the United States.
    • An analogy may be helpful here, says David Leonhardt, who writes The Morning newsletter for The Times. He explains that a vaccine that’s 95 percent effective, as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s versions appear to be, is a powerful fire hose. But the size of a fire is still a bigger determinant of how much destruction occurs.

The print version has some additional advice. From Dr. Fauci: “We have crushed similar outbreaks historically. We did it with smallpox. We did it with polio, We did it with measles. We can do it with coronavirus…The future doesn’t need to be bleak. It’s within our hands to really shape the future, both by public health measures and by taking up the vaccine.”