This is a good year to develop some habits:
- Rapid testing before gathering with friends.
- Testing 4-5 days after a gathering or potential exposure (rapid tests have a false positive rate of only 0.1%, so PCR confirmation generally not necessary)
- Wearing a mask in times of peak transmission or high case incidence/rise.
- Encouraging (politely) those around you to get vaccinated/boosted
- Understanding that COVID vaccines still prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death which WAS their original goal, but that it only works most effectively when done collectively.
- Understanding that the COVID vaccines ARE vaccines (and trying to distinguish between “vaccine” and “shot” is utterly meaningless).
- Vaccinating your kids as soon as able.
- Ignoring or shutting down disinformation from the clowns who try to make money off us by selling you quick fixes or junk science.
- At the same time extending grace to those who have been misled by those grifters
- Also extending grace to those who try to protect themselves and others yet still get COVID because 1) Omicron is THAT contagious, 2) They need to feel comfortable letting people know in order to stop further spread, and 3) Nobody is perfect.
- Taking COVID seriously because even if this variant is “milder”, by sheer numbers it will still hospitalize many, including kids, and the healthcare system is breaking (and non-COVID patients aren’t getting procedures and other care they need).
- Taking COVID seriously because new variants may still emerge and be even more problematic.
- Taking COVID seriously because eradication can be a years-long process but it IS still possible.
- Asking sincere questions to learn more about the real science.
- Dismantling the ingrained racist and inequitable systems in our nation to create better healthcare access for our own people and those around the world.
2022 is not going to be easy. But if we actually put a great deal of effort and funding into public health and development, and work for each other instead of solely for ourselves, it could be better.