Now that 2020 is over, and vaccines are available to everyone in the US, and about half of the population is already vaccinated, we’re all beginning to relax just a little bit more. Seeing bare faces is becoming the norm again and it’s nice to be able to gather with friends and family to celebrate all of life’s seasons. Knowing your COVID risk could have a serious impact on how you congregate.
While this return to normalcy isn’t entirely unwarranted, we must be aware that the fight against the COVID virus is still ongoing. In fact, just in March of 2021, COVID cases rose by 20% across the US. This may partially be due to a misunderstanding of what vaccines can actually do for us. Considering this strand of disease and these vaccines are still fairly new, it’s unknown whether or not vaccinated can still pass on the virus. Not only that, but it will take months and a 70-85% vaccinated population to ensure herd immunity.
With these limitations to even the best vaccine, many epidemiologists are predicting that first generation vaccines will be ineffective against mutated strains of the virus by 2022. They’re predicting that a new round of altered vaccines will be required before we truly have herd immunity.
This all may sound like more doom and gloom, but there is another path we can take to squelch the virus, in addition to getting vaccinated. That path is to become educated as to the risks we face as individuals, and to follow recommended precautions accordingly.
Since the onset of the pandemic there have been certain factors that inherently increase the risk of contracting severe disease for certain individuals. Some of these factors are chronic lung disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and dementia, among other things. Knowing our individual risks will give us the ability to use more or less precautions based on the amount of risk we are personally willing to take.
Unfortunately, many individuals have been miscatagorized regarding their risk levels, but now there’s a COVID risk assessment kit that can be taken at home, with results and a detailed report returning in 5-7 days. It’s important to remember that our individual actions are still making an impact on the “herd.” Do you know your risks?