Nearly two years have passed since the world was forever altered by COVID, and despite our improved knowledge of the virus, new cases continue to emerge and spread.
Don’t Eat That!
A physician-researcher and part of the Heroes of COVID Crisis series, Dr. J. Wes Ulm, MD, Ph.D., and Robert G. Lahita, MD, Ph.D. (known as “Dr. Bob”) explained to Health how people contract COVID and what we can do to prevent it from happening to us. Read on and don’t forget to check out these COVID Symptoms to safeguard your own health and the health of those around you.
Intimate personal contact, such as hugs and kisses.
Dr. Ulm adds this, “First cases in the United States in the winter of 2019-2020 have confirmed COVID-19 as an airborne virus with droplet transmission. Aside from respiratory-propelled droplets from the nose and mouth (like most colds or flu infections), it can also spread through airborne aerosols, allowing the viruses to remain suspended in the air for an extended length of time.
Transmission via doorknobs (fomites) is feasible, but it is a rather unusual mode of transmission. COVID transmission can occur during any event where there is a significant amount of intimate human contact, such as weddings, funerals, and baby showers.
The velocity with which COVID spreads at funerals to grieve with those grieving who had often already lost victims to COVID was one of the frequent and painful events of 2020.”
Not Taking the Necessary Precautions
When it comes to contracting COVID, Dr. Bob adds, “the most common ways I’m seeing individuals get it are by not wearing a mask, not washing their hands, and not socially distancing themselves in locations with a lot of people, inadequate ventilation, and where not everyone in that environment is vaccinated.”
“As a reminder, if you’ve been vaccinated and contracted COVID, you’ll most likely experience just moderate symptoms. In the case of vaccination, I would argue that you can still eat indoors and participate in other activities. I have been vaccinated and have eaten in a controlled environment, thus it is safe to do so. Some restaurants are even advertising the fact that they have invested in high-tech air filtering equipment in order to increase ventilation and air quality.”
Family Gatherings During the Season
People who attend events where there is a lot of close personal contact, but this time the spread is accelerated by close-packed, indoor conditions and prolonged contact, such that both droplets and airborne transmission are hastened,” Dr. Ulm explains, per a press release.
Events held indoors include loud voices, screams, hollering, and singing.
According to Dr. Ulm, “Given my background as a musician and music enthusiast, it aches my heart to learn that this is the case; yet, events such as loud concerts and music festivals serve as an important vehicle for COVID distribution.”
“It has been discovered that loud singing and yelling can cause droplets to be propelled in the same way that sneezes and violent coughs do, and indoor locations are particularly susceptible. Despite the fact that they are held outside, sports stadiums and parades can still spread the coronavirus through droplets, albeit at considerably lower levels than by airborne transmission.”
Large indoor shopping malls, airports, and train stations
According to Dr. Ulm, overcrowding in public transit and shopping centers is still a problem. When people are not crowded together, droplet distribution is less of an issue, but airborne transmission can still be considered if ventilation is poor.
Dr. Ulm provides the following explanation: “Conferences, as we now know, can frequently serve as superspreader events, with a recent anime convention in New York City contributing to the spread of the omicron variation (likely on top of Delta).
When it comes to immunizations, keep in mind that even those who have received them can still disseminate and get COVID-19 because the vaccines do not provide mucosal protection, but the severity of the disease is considerably reduced. As a result, it is still prudent to vaccinate and get a booster after 6 months (when protection begins to wane) and, for those who have already been vaccinated, to maintain social distance and masking.”
How to Stay Safe?
Get vaccinated as soon as you can, even if you live in an area where people aren’t getting the vaccine. If you live in an area where people aren’t getting the vaccine, wear an N95 face mask, stay away from large crowds, don’t go inside with people you don’t know, and don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Get COVID.