I hope that all of my readers are healthy and safe, regardless of where you are.
On a personal note, everyone in my family seems to be continuing to avoid the virus. We’ve been very cautious when it comes to things like masking and large indoor gatherings, so I imagine all of that has helped. Hopefully this trend continues, because even among my fully vaccinated and boosted friends who’ve gotten the virus’s Omicron variant, it still sounds rather unpleasant (albeit, beating ending up in a hospital, or worse, in many of the cases of those who are not vaccinated).
However, there is one way in which it is difficult to do what needs to be done in order to prevent getting the variant myself: it has been a struggle to get one of the types of masks the medical experts recommend. Medical experts are saying that the N95 masks (the highest quality of mask from a protection standpoint) and the KN95 masks (not quite as good as the N95s, but still very good) are the best ones to have. However, it has been a challenge, to say the least, to find such masks. My family is doing the best that it can, by wearing two masks whenever we go indoors (with a blue surgical mask under a cloth mask). But it would still be nice to have a greater availability of the kinds of masks the medical experts recommend.
I also think we need to make sure to be forceful about the messaging around wearing a cloth mask by itself. I am still seeing a lot of people wearing a cloth mask by itself, even though all the medical experts I’ve been hearing lately are saying that cloth masks by themselves are little more than a face decoration when it comes to protection against the Omicron variant. I would like to think that we could prevent some spread of the virus if there were more forceful messaging when it came to wearing cloth masks by themselves, but of course, I am not a public health expert, so I don’t know how much said forceful messaging would have helped.
The promising news is that the number of people testing positive in New York, as well as in many other parts of the northeastern United States, is down. This makes sense to me, as this part of the United States also seemed to be the first part to get slammed by the Omicron variant. This creates some hope, I think, that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, at least when it comes to this specific variant of the virus.
The number of people getting infected by this is still quite high, so I would urge against complacency, even in the parts of the United States or the world where cases continue to decline. I especially urge against this because there are parts of the region where hospital beds and ICU beds are filling up again, so we want to make sure to do what we can to keep hospital and ICU beds from getting overwhelmed, if they aren’t overwhelmed already. Furthermore, a lot of people seem to be getting sick in a short span of time, resulting in continuing shortages of everything from bus drivers to certain kinds of food. Now is not the time for complacency, indeed.
So, that is pretty much it from my corner of the world. As always, I am interested to hear how others are doing.