Fighting COVID-19 in 2021-it’s not over yet

In this post, I’m offering a graphic review of COVID-19 and what we can still do to prevent infections IN ADDITION TO getting vaccinated. Until we achieve wide spread immunity through vaccination the risk of infection and death are still present and still just as real.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This post was written and published 9 months ago and much has been learned and changed since. However, the basics have not changed and are perhaps more important than ever. I hope seeing this again will remind you of what’s important and prompt you to carefully follow reputable sources for updates.

This time a year ago, no one in the United States, or even anywhere in the world, knew about a novel coronavirus, except a handful of physicians and scientists. Perhaps not even they knew we were facing a viral pandemic that would turn our lives upside down.

That unknown virus, SARS-CoV-2, has sickened 90 million people world wide and caused almost 2 million deaths. In the United States it has infected 22 million people, killing 370,000.

UPDATE: as of September 5,2021 there have been

221 million worldwide cases with with 4.5 million global deaths

40 million U.S.A. cases with 650,000 deaths

In the United States, the healthcare systems in many places, including our most populous states, are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, so much so that it impairs their ability to care for them and other patients. Cases are at an all time high across the entire country.

illustration showing the coronavirus which causes COVID-19
a model of the structure of the SARS_CoV-2

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. In this view, the protein particles E, S, and M, also located on the outer surface of the particle, have all been labeled as well.

A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS, public domain.

Finally, a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2

There is hope for an end to this nightmare now that two vaccines are available and being dispensed. I feel fortunate to have received my first dose of the Pfizer-BiONTech vaccine but I know for many others it will be weeks if not months before they will be vaccinated.

Dr. Aletha inspecting her arm after a COVID-19 shot
Three days after my first vaccination the soreness in my arm is almost gone, and I had no redness or swelling.

Let’s review COVID-19

In this post, I’m offering a graphic review of COVID-19 and what we can still do to prevent infections IN ADDITION TO getting vaccinated. Until we achieve wide spread immunity through vaccination the risk of infection and death are still present and still just as real.

Please note I am not addressing management of COVID-19 in this post. Your best source of information for treatment of symptomatic COVD-19 is from a physician familiar with your symptoms and underlying health.

The timeline of a COVID-19 infection-from exposure to immunity

Other common symptoms include
  • headache
  • muscle and/or joint aches
  • nasal congestion and drainage
  • sore throat
  • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • loss of taste or smell-this almost always means you are infected
  • fatigue
  • there may be no symptoms at all

Steps to prevent infection from coronavirus-

Wash your hands, Wear a mask, Watch your distance

Practice social distancing and wear a mask.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19 or have been exposed
You should also contact your physician for advice, especially if you have chronic medical conditions which might make you at greater risk of severe disease.

Base your actions on FACTS, not FEAR

MANAGE ANXIETY-DON'T BE AFRAID-BE SMART

Learn about the vaccines from Dr. Gupta and Dr. Fauci

Throughout the pandemic, I have depended on the reports from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and medical correspondent for CNN. I don’t miss his daily podcasts called Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction.

In this episode, Dr. Gupta interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci about the coronavirus vaccine. I suggest you listen to this 12 minute podcast, as well as the others in this series.

A Q&A on vaccines with Dr. Anthony Fauci

exploring the HEART of controlling a pandemic

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

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.

Vital questions you should ask about immunization

This coronavirus pandemic is serious. We don’t yet have a vaccine or effective treatments. To protect ourselves, our familes, and our entire communities we should all be practicing social distancing and other hygiene measures as we wait for a safe, effective vaccine and treatments.

The sickness and deaths COVID-19 has caused makes immunization more important than ever. While social distancing, hand hygiene, and a clean environment are vital, a safe and effective vaccine will bolster those measures. Around the world, scientists are working on a vaccine for this novel coronavirus.

Fewer and fewer people have had experience with serious infectious diseases like measles, rubella, polio, and diphtheria, so maybe that explains why in recent years immunization rates for many diseases have plummeted. Also due to misinformation about the value and risk of immunization, some people lost confidence in vaccines to protect us against disease without causing significant side effects or adverse events.

As a result, we still have outbreaks of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) and seasonal influenza disease and deaths. The threat of a new virulent disease due to a novel coronavirus highlights the value of immunization.

immunizations by age

On the first two charts, vaccines are listed on the far left column. On the top row, find your age, then scroll down to find the vaccines appropriate for you.

RECOMMENDED ADULT IMMUNIZATIONS 2020
RECOMMENDED CHILD AND ADOLESCENT IMMUNIZATIONS 2020

questions to ask about vaccines and the immunization process include.

  • What contagious diseases am I likely to be exposed to or at risk for?
  • What are the risks of those diseases?
  • What are the risks of a particular vaccine for me?
  • What are the risks versus benefits of immunization?
  • What else can we do to prevent an infection?

vaccines by medical condition

On these charts vaccines are also listed on the far left column. Across the top row are various medial conditions that should be considered along with age in recommending a particular vaccine. It’s just as important to know what vaccines you should not receive as those that you should.

2020 vaccination recommendations from the CDC

Please visit the CDC website for complete details about the various vaccines and discuss your need for immunizations with your and your children’s physicians.

“Am I contagious?”

Most of us have gone to work, school or social events with symptoms suggestive of infection- a cough, runny nose, upset stomach- putting our friends and colleagues at risk. Isolation of sick people and quarantine of their contacts slows the spread of infectious disease and is helping to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even before COVID-19, patients visit me with new onset symptoms, or symptoms that have been present several days, and ask “am I contagious?” Most of the time I can’t tell them definitely whether they are or not. When in doubt, it’s best to not expose other people unnecessarily, especially those who are most susceptible.

This coronavirus pandemic is serious. We don’t yet have a vaccine or effective treatments. To protect ourselves, our familes, and our entire communities we should all be practicing social distancing and other hygiene measures as we wait for a safe, effective vaccine and treatments.

RESOURCES FOR understanding COVID-19

an electron microscope image of the coronavirus
used with permission, CDC.GOV

Tips from your Family Doctor

CDC-Coronavirus Disease 2019

exploring and sharing the HEART of health

Thanks for reading and sharing this important information about protecting the HEART of health.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr.  Aletha 

These may be good options as long as we need to stay in our homes.

a way to exercise at home

a way to get medical supplies delivered

a source for food if you don’t have local delivery

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