Saturday, February 6, 2021



 Never have I ever claimed to be an expert in the field of science. There is someone that I highly respect for his knowledge in the science of infectious disease as the world is in the midst of COVID-19. His name is Dr. Fauci. Even he admits when he or another scientist learn something new that may overturn their original thoughts they share the new information with the public. The one thing that he does believe is that there now is enough information to help all of us protect ourselves. We just need to be savvy enough to heed the advice. The vaccine will be helping as more and more are being given their first and second doses, yet this does not mean life will return to the way things used to be. There is a new normal and it will be baby steps to get there. We must all learn to be patient. 

Dr. Fauci has determined that congregating in bars and indoor restaurants is not a good idea. First of all it is close to impossible to have social distancing and of course you must take your mask off in order to drink and eat. Many restaurants have set up outside dining spots with social distancing. There is also curbside and take-out. Yes, it is not quite the same as socially going out to eat with friends and family. Before we can do that safely, we need to follow the suggested guidelines. I miss meeting friends and family just as much as the next person. I really sympathize with those who live alone. 

It seems that Dr. Fauci takes and follows his own advice. His daughter needed to come home. She flew home and the Faucis had their basement set up as a guest room, including a bathroom. Their daughter stayed there for 14 days in quarantine before she joined her mother and father out of the basement. He said that he was wanting so badly to just give her a hug. That is exactly how we feel in our house about our children. We have one son who is a pilot and had to come home before he was able to get his own apartment and also had to quarantine upstairs. Dr. Fauci states that he wouldn't take a plane or any public transportation at this time due to him being in the high risk category. Like most of us, he does not like to admit it but certain ages are more likely to come down with the virus than others. Add any health issues and you double the risk. It is important to not assume your risk is zero because of your age. 

Our local Health Department visits restaurants and bars and either fines them or closes them down if protocols are not followed. This includes all public places such as gyms, hair salons, spas, and stores. More and more people are now adhering to wearing masks, washing hands and using hand sanitizers, as well as maintaining social distancing. This is the way we will get back to some normalcy. If you are consistent in your socializing, and have a friend or family over for a cup of tea then keep the number down to 2 - 4 people, social distancing and never sharing common bowls, utensils, etc., along with meeting outside. Winter and cold weather may slow this down unless you have a firepit - where there is a will there may be a way. Just do it safely. Outdoors is better than indoors. Plus the family or friends who you have over must not have traveled nor go out in large groups. 

Exercising is still important but for a certain segment of the population, it may not be the safest way to exercise in a gym. Outdoor walking or biking, fitness videos and even walking around in your home if you do not have a treadmill or stationary bike. It still is a matter of avoiding crowds. 

There is the matter of schools being open or virtual. Really there is not one way or another that is right or wrong. Large school districts have a much tougher time following the guidelines of the CDC. Public schools with outdated air filtering systems can't compare to private schools who have the money to add extra maintenance and have smaller class sizes so that social distancing will work. Children need to be in schools but there needs to be a priority for the safety and welfare of the children, as well as the teachers and staff.

When I had to go to a new doctor he said that he always used to shake his new patients' hands. Now he gives them the 'elbow bump.' With masks on our faces it is not always easy to see that smile. One must be good at reading the smile from the eyes. 

A new safety precaution that I read about was to drive with your car windows down some. It helps in the air circulation which lowers your chance of inhaling the virus. So keep that mask on and let some fresh air inside your car. It is important to remember that asymptomatic people can spread the virus.

It has been reported that taking zinc and vitamin D3 may help. Dr. Fauci has stated that zinc in reality does not have any effect. On the other hand being out in the sunshine, as well as taking vitamin D3 has some merit. Blood types have been studied and some types seem to be more immune to the virus than others. Nothing is a for sure fact. Scientists are all working together to find true facts. 

Scientists are working to prove if the virus survives 72 hours on surfaces or not. They have discovered that the virus can be retrieved from cloth surfaces for this long but what hasn't been shown is that it is able to still be actually transmitted this way. You can isolate it from doorknobs, steel, chrome, etc. but they do not believe that it is a major modality of transmission.

There is no question about it...the U.S. did make lots of mistakes in handling the pandemic in the early stages. Relying on herd immunity is just a bad idea in general according to experts. If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people who are without symptoms, many people who are elderly or have underlying conditions are at risk. There are long term effects for some people. It does not seem to be a way to predict who will have a mild case vs someone who may take weeks before they feel close to normal again.

Dr. Fauci does not want to see the country shut down. We need the economy to continue moving forward but that is not all. Psychologically, it would be devastating to close everything down. Life must go on, just in a safe manner Wearing a mask should not be a political statement and I for one (and yes, I am the forever optimist) believe that more and more people are getting over that. We have a new leader who does follow the science of this pandemic and heeds warnings. Everyone needs to pull together in a uniform manner. We can't afford weak links to win. Our country has been through tough times before and we can work together to turn our country around in a positive manner.

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