What the CDC recommends for fully vaccinated people-another update

Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

This information is current as of the publication date; it is general medical information that helps doctors and patients make decisions about what is right for them. Medical recommendations and practice changes as we learn new things. If you deal with any of these issues , please discuss with your doctor before taking any action.

Now that many of us have been vaccinated against the coronavirus we want to know what we can safely do. We should also be wondering what is the risk of various activities, as nothing will ever be risk free.

And many state governors, including mine, are removing COVID-19 mitigation measures, including mask mandates and recommendations. So we need to stay informed so we can be “personally responsible.” (My governor’s favorite phrase.)

update April 27, 2021

The CDC has updated the guidelines and address wearing masks outdoors.

fully vaccinated people can travel domestically with pre or post testing
Here is what the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, posted on their web site as of April 27, 2021.

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19

  • ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or We
  • ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen ).
Dr. Aletha inspecting her arm after a COVID-19 shot
Three days after my first vaccination the soreness in my arm was almost gone, and I had no redness or swelling. After the second shot, minimal soreness. No other side effects to report. I feel fortunate. I am now fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

My key points from these recommendations

  • Refrain from quarantine and testing if exposed, unless you have symptoms.
  • Interactions involving ONLY people who are fully vaccinated are low risk.
  • Interactions involving people not vaccinated have more risk.
  • Interactions with people who are at increased risk of severe disease should be approached cautiously, with safeguards fully in place.
  • Attending large group gatherings still carries significant risk to all involved.
  • Outdoor activities are very low risk, but are not 100% safe either, especially for unvaccinated people
  • Testing is still important.
  • Travel within the United States requires no pre or post testing or quarantine.
  • For international travel, you will still be required to follow the rules for the countries you are visiting upon arrival and while there.

Testing, testing, testing

Testing helps us identify cases, trace contacts, and prevent spread. With fewer cases, public health professionals can find contacts easier and sooner. Stopping spread will make the variant viruses less of a threat.

So please don’t stop seeking testing if you have symptoms; it is still important to know how many cases of COVID-19 there are. If we only know about the severe cases that required hospitalization, it will skew the statistics, and be less representative of the true extent of the pandemic.

Practice social distancing and wear a mask.

Masks-“do unto others”

I’m not here to debate the use of masks. If you’ve been wearing one, you probably should continue to do so, unless in a setting with others who you can confirm are vaccinated or immune due to natural infection.

Remember, this is a contagious infectious disease spread by direct person to person contact. It’s not just about you, we’re here for each other.

Information and misinformation

There has been much of both in the past year, some deliberate, some well intentioned, some valuable, some just plain wrong. Whenever possible, get your information directly from the source, not “a friend of a friend’s second cousin”. Here are some tips for finding reliable information

Final comments from the CDC

This is the first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. This guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.

CDC website

exploring the HEART of ending the pandemic

And if you found this information interesting and helpful, please share with your friends on social media and elsewhere. They and I will appreciate it.

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

Dr. Aletha

Effective solutions if you experience hair loss

causes and treatment for hair loss-and a brief book review

 post updated March 13, 2021

My Sister’s Keeper– a novel

I  enjoyed reading  My Sister’s Keeper ,a novel  by Jodi Picoult, which touched on  several medical themes – cancer, genetic engineering, organ donation ethics,  and medical autonomy.

Kate, an adolescent who as a toddler developed a rare form of leukemia, has spent the majority of her life either in the hospital getting treatment or recovering from them. After yet another chemotherapy regimen, she  lost her hair.

One day her mother, Sara, offers to take Kate and her younger sister Anna to the mall for a day out. Kate refuses.

“Don’t say it. Don’t tell me that nobody’s going to stare at me, because they will. Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter because it does. And don’t tell me I look fine because that’s a lie.” Her eyes, lash-bare, fill with tears. “I’m a freak, Mom. Look at me.”

Sara looks at her and says, “Well, we can fix this.”

“She walks out of the room followed by Kate and Anna. She finds a pair of ancient electric grooming clippers, plugs them in, and cuts a swath right down the middle of her own scalp.

“Mom”, Kate gasps.

With another swipe of the razor, Kate starts to smile. She points out a spot Sara missed. Anna crawls onto Sara’s lap. “Me next,” she begs.”

As Sara later remembers:

“An hour later, we walk through the mall holding hands, a trio of bald girls. We stay for hours. Everywhere we go, heads turn and voices whisper. We are beautiful, times three.”

Also a movie

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult was also made into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, and Joan Cusack.  

(These, and other links in this post are affiliate links, used to generate revenue to fund this blog. )

Alopecia- hair loss

You’ve known people who lost their hair due to cancer chemotherapy-you may even be that person. The medical term is anagen effluvium, which means hair loss during the anagen, or active phase of hair growth. 65% of people who receive chemotherapy will lose their hair.

Fortunately, anagen effluvium is reversible; the hair usually grows back in 1-6 months. While waiting, sometimes women wear wigs, while others wear colorful scarves and turbans on their heads. And some simply do as  Kate, her mother and sister did- show their heads proudly.

Stress and hair loss

The most common form of diffuse hair loss is telogen effluvium which occurs during the telogen or resting phase. Stress can cause hair loss, it is not a myth . Any type of physical, mental, or emotional stress can cause hair to fall out. Probably the most common stress that precipitates this is pregnancy. Others include

  • major surgery
  • serious illness
  • disorders of the thyroid, kidneys, or liver
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • anemia due to iron deficiency
  • malnutrition or rapid weight loss

This hair loss is also reversible with the hair usually growing back within 2-6 months after the condition resolves or is treated.

a middle aged woman and a young woman together
Hair loss can occur at any age and with any type of hair. (Lightstock)

 

 

Genes and gender

The most common type of hair loss in both men and women is considered a “normal physiologic variant”- that being androgenetic alopecia. It tends to run in families, hence the “genetic” connotation. As many as 50% of men and 30%-40% of women may experience hair loss with increasing age.

There are two forms. (click on the links to see an illustration.)

Male pattern hair loss– affects the temples, front, and top of the scalp

Female pattern hair loss– causes diffuse thinning on the top and sides of the scalp

Two treatments are approved by the FDA.

Minoxidil- a topical solution applied daily to the scalp, causing increased hair growth within 6-12 months, and is used indefinitely. This is effective for both men and women.

Finasteride is a pill approved for use in men only, if minoxidil does not work. It can have undesirable side effects which limit its use.

Another option for both men and women are hair transplants.

5 people young men and women with arms overlapping their shoulders
Hair loss can happen to men and women,; men may start losing hair as young as 30 years old. (Lightstock)

 

Less common causes of hair loss

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. it may cause

  • round, bare patches on the scalp
  • complete scalp hair loss
  • hair loss on other body areas

Hair may spontaneously regrow in up to 30% of mild cases. When treatment is needed choices include

  • topical corticosteroids
  • topical minoxidil
  • anthralin
  • oral janus kinase inhibitors

More info is available from the American Academy of Dermatology

Trichotillomania results from repeatedly pulling, twisting, or twirling the hair. Treatment is difficult.

Trichorrhexis nodosa results from trauma to the hair, including excessive brushing, tight hairstyles, and use of heat and chemical products on the hair.

 

 

What to do if you are losing hair

If you experience unexplained hair loss, see your doctor for an evaluation. It’s best not to assume that it is just a hair issue.

It is especially important to determine if there is some underlying condition, such as a thyroid disorder, that needs treatment.

Consider your family history. Have your grandparents, parents, or siblings experienced hair loss?

Evaluate your lifestyle to see if there are nutritional, traumatic, or stress factors that may contribute to hair loss. Remember, these may have happened as long as 6 months ago.

a smiling woman working on a laptop computer
Tightly braiding hair can lead to damage if done often enough. (Lightstock)

Consider the way you care for, style, and wear your hair; do these traumatize your hair frequently or excessively?

Hair care by Arbonne

Arbonne carries  hair care products  that  help keep our hair healthy and attractive- TrueStyle and True Hair- for all hair types:

  • color treated
  • dry or damaged
  • fine or limp
  • curly
  • short

Lightstock  photos at this affiliate link 

Cheesy free faith-focused stock photos

exploring the HEART of health

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

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