The WHO declared the covid-19 virus a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Since then, countries globally have introduced their response to the emerging situation. People in Europe, the USA, and Latin America reported thousands of deaths, whereas other countries fared slightly better. Fortunately, scientists developed a vaccine, and vaccination drives began early this year. While several cities are still in the process of lifting restrictions, the nightmare is far from over.
The next phase of this international crisis will depend on different variables. Government policies, progress on the development of vaccines, and international solidarity will shape our future. Just getting vaccinated isn’t enough to help us return to a pre-pandemic world.
With new variants of the virus being discovered in countries like India, Brazil, and Sri Lanka, it is unclear how long current vaccines will remain effective against the newer, more contagious mutations.
Most of us are looking forward to socializing and traveling again. But it is not safe to return to our old ways just yet. Until that happens, we have to take precautionary measures to mitigate risks. Communities and individuals must cooperate with regulatory authorities by following prevention measures.
The future can be bright or dark, depending on our choices. Experts reinforce the necessity of ongoing adherence. With that said, there are several things you can do to keep yourself and others safe during a pandemic.
- Consult a specialist: Experts can help you understand how biological and chemical factors affect health. They can also educate us about behaviors that promote wellbeing. There were a limited number of qualified public health specialists at the beginning of the century. With newer health issues emerging almost every month, institutions offer online courses where several healthcare practitioners opt for newer roles that provide better career prospects. The best thing is that students without gre can also earn an mph degree. Universities offering ceph accredited online mph programs no gre, allow medical candidates to understand public health issues better.
- Wearing a mask: Masks are proven to deter the transmission of viruses and a necessity if you are in public settings and gatherings. In some territories, it is mandatory to cover your face when traveling on public transport. However, not all face-coverings are effective. Contrary to popular belief, face masks with exhalation vents are ineffective as they allow unfiltered air to escape. WHO does not recommend using fabric masks with less than three layers of fabric. Always inspect a protective covering for damage or tears before using it and ensure it fits your face without any gaps.
- Staying 6 feet away from others: People can spread the virus without knowing they are sick. The virus spreads when droplets from the mouth and nose of an infected person scatter in the air. When you come into contact with an infected person, these droplets can enter your lungs and mouth as well. So, keep your distance from others. The CDC recommends staying at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household.
- Get yourself vaccinated: There is still some confusion about the efficacy of vaccines. Furthermore, several people cannot get the vaccine because of prior health complications. Immunocompromised people, for example, need information and counseling for vaccines. However, vaccines are safe for the rest. Contrary to popular belief, vaccines do not make you sterile or change your RNA. Most vaccines, such as Pfizer and Sinopharm, require a double dose. Comparatively, Johnson and Johnson is a single-dose vaccine.
- Washing your hands: Proper hygiene is necessary to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. Therefore, people should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is vital to wet your hands and cover all surfaces of your hand in soap. Try to get all the crevices clean with a brush. Remember to dry your hands thoroughly to prevent the transmission of germs. Alternatively, you can also use a sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol content to kill viruses.
- Covering your coughs and sneezes: Since coronavirus spreads through droplets, experts suggest people mask their faces to stop the spread. Always protect your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze. Remember to dispose of them to prevent the transmission of the virus. You can also cough into your elbow or sleeve to prevent others from getting sick.
- Monitoring your health: Many patients are initially asymptomatic. So, it is vital to monitor your health daily to watch out for fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Try to improve your immunity by getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. You can also use multivitamins to boost your immune system and reduce the risk of illness. Regular exercise is vital to reduce the risk of diseases.
- Isolate if you are sick: Last and most importantly, isolate yourself if you get sick. Testing and screening can help you diagnose yourself. Isolation is the only way to prevent the spread and contain Covid-19 after a positive diagnosis. To be safe and ensure you’ve recovered, wait 14 days after a positive diagnosis and then do another test.
We need to present a united front against international crises. For coronavirus, no one is safe until everyone is fully vaccinated. However, vaccine inequity is a pressing concern for public health organizations.
Therefore, a nationalistic approach to Covid-19 vaccination will prolong the pandemic. Even high-income nations are at risk of outbreaks of the virus because of viral variants. Countries must work with global agencies to scale prevention efforts. With international cooperation and solidarity, we can build a better future.