Why you shouldn’t just ‘beat COVID’

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For the latest news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

Like omicron variable He continues to make his way through cities, causing penetrating injuries in Fully vaccinated and some re-infection In people who have already had COVID, it may start to feel as though everyone is getting sick.

If you’ve survived a bout of COVID-19 so far while others you know have tested positive, you may have wondered: Should I expose myself and get over it?

No, says Dr. Chris Perrier, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“There are many problems with this kind of thinking,” Bayerer told CNET. First, he said, although your risk of severe COVID is now rare if you’ve been vaccinated and boosted, some vaccinated people have severe cases. And if you are not vaccinated, this risk much higher. So why seize the opportunity?

Second, vaccinated people can still spread the virus, Perrier said, putting others at risk who did not choose to get sick. Older people, immunocompromised people or children under 5 will be especially at risk if you come across them in your apartment building while you are in isolation, or if you come across them at the grocery store before you realize you are sick.

Third, he said, there is danger COVID long, which develops in about 15% to 20% of people with confirmed COVID-19 infection – including people with relatively mild cases. These symptoms can range from annoying to debilitating and disturbing daily life.

Is infection with the virus that causes the pandemic inevitable? with the omicron variablePerhaps, some experts said. But choosing to get sick just to get rid of it has consequences that go beyond you, even if you never knew it.

Get sick together: Like a chicken pox party?

Bayerer said that “chicken parties” or parents intentionally expose their children to chickenpox so they get immunity while they were young, and they were old before there was a chickenpox vaccine (adding that the generation that got chickenpox is now susceptible to shingles). There is no room for this mindset when it comes to COVID-19. “Covid is now a highly preventable disease,” he said.

As a scenario, we suggested this to Beyrer: Five fully vaccinated adults in their twenties, who feel otherwise healthy and likely to have a mild case of COVID-19, decide to put COVID together in order to do so. . What could happen?

Although the odds are low for anyone in this group to get really sick, Perrier said, on average one of them will have the COVID virus for a long time. And for group neighbors who are isolated together, including people who are immunocompromised, elderly, or less than 5 years old, grouping in the group can lead to severe disease.

“With a virus as contagious as Omicron, this infection can spread widely,” Beyerer said. And those five youths likely wouldn’t know who they might have harmed.”

Another thing to note is that COVID-19 is not a “one and done” disease for everyone, and many people are struggling with it a second time after becoming ill early in the pandemic. As the Cleveland Clinic notes, natural immunity wanes over time, as does immunity to an unboosted vaccine.

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Although the epidemic may seem like it will never abate, trying to catch an infection puts you at unnecessary risk and strains our exhausted healthcare system.

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Just because Omicron causes less severe disease doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous

Omicron leads to Fewer hospitalizations The deaths are outpacing Delta, Beyer said. But it’s also much more contagious, causing the number of cases to rise. And just because it causes less serious illness for the average person doesn’t mean it will be for everyone.

“When you have millions of cases, the deaths will increase as well,” Perrier said. “As we are [are] We’re seeing it now in the United States.”

The need to “flatten the curve” of people who get sick with COVID-19 in order to maintain hospital capacity for those who end up severely ill is as strong now as it was in the spring of 2020.

“We’re already seeing the cost to the health care system and health workers,” Bayerer said. The New York Times reported Friday that hospital beds in 24 states were close to capacity. In addition to an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, more people getting sick means more sick healthcare workers. When hospitals don’t have enough staff to care for patients, they have to “close the bed,” as the Wall Street Journal explained.

Will everyone eventually get COVID-19 anyway? When does COVID-19 become endemic?

Some health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, and Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA commissioner, have made recent comments saying, essentially, everyone will be exposed to COVID or get sick. -19. But do they mean that this will happen this winter when the virus is expected to peak again? or after COVID-19 has become endemic More like a seasonal disease?

“The fact is that the unvaccinated have a very high probability of getting infected – in South Africa this was over 80% of all people sampled,” Perrier said. Vaccines (and some booster vaccines) are also likely to have exposure, given the absolute infectivity of the omicron variant, but they are “more likely to have mild or asymptomatic infections, many of which would go unnoticed unless the person was tested for some reason.”

The World Health Organization has warned that 50% of Europe could have an oomicron in the coming weeks, which some experts believe could foreshadow the course of the United States. But Catherine Smallwood, a WHO official, told the New York Times, the high numbers of COVID-19 infections don’t necessarily signal the end of a pandemic, because for something to become endemic, the virus needs some predictability. And COVID-19 is not stable at the moment.

Bayerer said many designers predict that COVID-19 rates will begin to decline rapidly in late January, and we may see much lower numbers of cases by March. But whether or not COVID-19 will cease to be a pandemic depends on a few factors, including whether the vaccine and booster rates are going up, a vaccine has been found for children under five and Omicron is the last worrisome alternative, he said.

“This assumes that no other variables appear as the Omicron declines,” Beyerer said. “An assumption that has been proven to be incorrect with the delta variable, as we all know very painfully.”

Bayer admitted the fatigue of suffering from a pandemic, and the feeling that it would never end. But he said, “We are all tired.” He said actively trying the disease now in the belief that it will give you immunity later that is harmful to the individual and harmful to society, and will also maintain chains of transmission and prolong pain.

Instead, people should focus on their mental health, Bayerer said. People should see family and friends “as caring and safe as possible.”

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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