Article by: Dr. Richard G. Berry MD, FACP
Last week I did something I have not done in the past ten months. I hugged my very special 84 year old mother in law, Bettye Mills and kissed her on her cheek. You may wonder how I can justify doing this since this article is supposed to deal with living with COVID and best practices to prevent catching the virus. You see both of us had been vaccinated with the last of the two doses of the Moderna vaccine two weeks prior. We had reached the 95% protection and, with her permission, I felt safe doing this.
Let me be clear. If you have not received the vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna, you are at a high risk of catching the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease. So if you want the joy that I had in showing affection to a loved one, this is the article for you.
So here we go. Let us begin unpacking the very important subject of not only surviving COVID, but also lowering your risks on a daily basis. Four important things we can do immediately to live with COVID now and protect ourselves from this deadly virus and it’s variant.
First the reality is that for the foreseeable future masks will be in vogue in this country. The N95 mask is the gold standard. Double masking with a surgical mask although not as yet recommended by the CDC, is more protective.
Secondly, since people can spread the virus before they know that they are sick, physical distancing of at least six feet is very important.
I cannot over stress this third one. Get the vaccine as soon as it is available for you. Yes, you will still have to follow the above two recommendations, but you will still feel a sense of protection and relief.
Finally, a healthy immune system is essential for survival. Please consider a vegan or at least a vegetarian diet. Supplements with Vitamins C, D and Zinc are also recommended by many medical professionals.
Recent publications from the CDC, show the number of new COVID-19 cases in the US declining to levels last seen before the Thanksgiving and Christmas 2020 holidays. This is a long awaited trend. However some in the medical community have voiced a warning that COVID may really never go away. We may have to get yearly vaccines like we do with the Flu vaccine. Therefore it is important to know these best practices and more importantly follow them.