Omicron BA.2 is the new dominant strain globally
BA.2 has led to a surge of cases in Europe and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the US and around the world. Fortunately, this variant is not as deadly as prior episodes, and the likelihood of drastic lockdowns from this strain is very slight. In the future, however, we can never be too sure that we won’t see another dangerous variant from this virus in the future.
Be ready to gear up!
Mother Nature has a nasty way of introducing variations over time, and there will likely be new variants of COVID-19 that can lead to a future and unexpected spike in illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths
Taking these 6 steps can lower your risk and minimize disruption to your life
- Pay attention to COVID indicators in your community: Check the color-coded map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows community levels of COVID-19 around the country.
- Keep high-quality masks on hand in your household: Check your mask supply and make sure you have high-quality, medical-style masks (N95, KN95 or KF94). Use these masks when you start to see case numbers going back up.
- Get a booster when you are eligible: Federal regulators have authorized a second booster shot for everyone 50 and older. In addition, a second booster is authorized for people 12 and older with certain immune deficiencies.
- Get a pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a small device that clips on your finger and measures your blood oxygen levels. When these levels drop to 92 or lower, patients should see a doctor, as low oxygen levels may raise your risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
- Make a plan for antiviral drug treatment: Presently, two oral antiviral therapies (Pfizer’s Paxlovid, Merck’s molnupiravir) are available to treat COVID-19 in the US. They require a doctor’s prescription and are authorized for people who may be at high risk of severe disease. For the pills to be most effective, they need to be taken within five days of the start of symptoms, so having a plan to get a prescription and knowing which pharmacies have the drug is key to success.
- Have backup plans for social events and travel: Whether it’s a wedding, graduation party, or other large event, have an outdoor backup plan in case your community’s case numbers spike. Do a little advance research for clinics and pharmacies at your destination, as well as maintain extra space on your credit card in case you need to extend your trip to recover from COVID-19.