With so many of us now, simply shrugging and giving up on being careful about COVID - prompted by government and business leading the way down this dangerous path (especially dangerous for the many of us who cannot get vaccinated) - it’s sad that the reality at this stage, is that you’d have to be in a bubble to avoid getting it.   N95 masks provide decent protection - to the people on the outside of the mask. That’s the best we’ve got - and many of the people who should most be wearing them, are the people who care the least, so aren’t.

So we’ll all likely get it - and with that in mind:

  • get all the boosters you can, as soon as they’re available to you
  • don’t wait on a booster since this will increase your risk AND delay your ability to get the next one, which may be even better and/or more targeted
  • manage risk as best possible; minimize time in closed rooms, especially with poor ventilation
  • for recent variants, the amount of exposure to become infected, is about 60 seconds
  • test early and often, especially after anything you think even MIGHT have been risky
  • tests are generally covered by healthcare plans, or otherwise available at no additional cost - get as many as you are allowed, and use them
  • PCR tests are the gold standard, and pick up infection sooner than antigen tests
  • PCR tests will also show positive, for awhile afterward (because you’ve still got it in you)
  • there are no at-home PCR tests; they require more advanced lab equipment and expertise
  • LAMP tests are _similar to PCR; they look for the same thing in a different way
  • PCR tests are still available at no additional cost, usually run by the state
  • antigen tests are useful to show if you’re at a high enough level that you should isolate
  • antigen tests will take awhile after infection, to show positive; test >5 days after exposure
  • antigen tests are also useful after you’ve had it, and are no longer symptomatic, to show when it’s safe to exit isolation (even when a PCR might show positive)
  • test results are no longer tracked in even a remotely comprehensive way, so those stats are dubious at best
  • we DO have treatment options - and you need to prepare NOW to be able to use them
  • for instance, Paxlovid is apparently most/only useful, immediately after infection
  • so have that conversation with your doctor NOW, to know how to get it as soon as you need it, since you can get it only on their say-so
  • the treatments (like Paxlovid) have significant potential side-effects and drug interactions; check those carefully - also good to do NOW, before you’re in the throws

Last: Please point out any errors I’ve made above, or any additions / questions / comments - best way to get through this, is TOGETHER. ❤️