19 long months in our “pandemic caves”. Its time to safely make our exit.

March 2020 is when many of us entered the safety of our pandemic caves. The deadly coronavirus was spreading like wildfire! The virus is spread via the respiratory tract making contracting the deadly disease very easy but complicated. Folks had to be wary of not only direct contacts, but also secondary and tertiary contacts as folks were also unknown carriers.  As information was evolving, we took safe refuge in our homes. We had to quickly form intact bubbles of safety.

The protective bubble of safety.

After close to 1 year, thanks to the vaccine and the strategic Biden administration plan, we were able to carefully exit our pandemic caves. Unfortunately there was a lot of hateful resistance to public health safety practices and to the vaccines.  Others were hesitant because of a history of distrust in healthcare.  So, a lot of work had to be done to gain the public’s trust.

Fortunately, the vaccines were so very safe and effective that infection rates expeditiously declined early in the Spring of 2021.  Businesses reopened, restaurants reopen for dining, business districts no longer looked like ghost towns and tourism / local events were on the rise! 

Unfortunately in these exciting moments of enthusiasm, folks threw caution to the wind.  The Delta variant arrived, and infection rates soared again.  However, this time, “breakthrough” infections erupted in vaccinated populations. So, booster vaccines were desperately needed. 

Booster vaccines became available in October 2021!

As of today in the U.S., all vaccines now have boosters!  Plus, pediatric vaccines will be approved before the end of October 2021.  Let me not forget to mention that we are approaching influenza season and folks must also get annual flu shots.   As of today, I have received 2 vaccinations, the flu shot, and the booster shot!  Whew!  Its all about trying to stay safe, stopping the spread of infections and trying to exit this pandemic cave!

Safely emerging out from our Pandemic Caves

I highly recommend the following 10 steps for safely exiting the pandemic cave as we enter a New Normal:

  1. Continue established public health safety practices! 
  2. Wear the mask, social distance, and hand hygiene.
  3. Know the vaccination status of your close contacts.
  4. Get fully vaccinated!
  5. Get the booster vaccine.
  6. Get the flu shot!  Influenza is a very nasty disease! 
  7. Avoid congested indoor gatherings.
  8. When at public indoor venues… WEAR THE MASK!
  9. Timing is important! Plan for indoor venues during off-peak times like theaters, shopping and fitness centers.
  10. Embrace a lifestyle of safe technology:  remote conferencing, good old phone calls, and  online chats.
Effective public health safety practices!