Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

The New COVID Reality – you and your family are on your own! Be MAVERICK!

For those actively avoiding COVID… be like MAVERICK!

the end is inevitable. your kind is headed for extinction…

maybe so. but not today

countermeasures – N95 mask, vaccinations, good airflow / Corsi–Rosenthal Box, and staunch belief in yourself. I see you and support you! (added September 14, 2022)

Now it’s August 2022 and as children return back to school, the CDC announced its most recent guidelines on how to protect one’s self from COVID (and therefore more importantly long COVID) it’s been increasingly clear, you and your family are on your own! What should you do to minimize your risk of getting COVID, long COVID, or getting it more than once?

Guidance from CDC as of late has NOT been great

Although I’ve often discussed why I’m so focused on fixing health care, during these most unsettled times, stress, inaccurate information, and uncertainty, more than ever as the only doctor in my family do I feel compelled to do my part to ensure individuals get the best information possible so they can focus on living their lives.

Unfortunately, that source of accurate information and guidance no longer is coming from the CDC.

What to do now?

I follow a small group of medical doctors on Twitter and through their eyes and filters, get the best information and judgements they can offer. Like many of you, we have other jobs to do and having other experts who have deep knowledge and expertise and seeing their thought processes and decisions over time have made me confident about by own decisions and far less confident about the CDC’s. The former are individuals who are optimized to bring personal judgments. The latter is an organization where group think and other pressures may apply resulting in less than desirable outcomes.

  • Get fully vaccinated. This means primary COVID vaccination and all boosters. Everyone in my immediate family is fully vaccinated.
  • Wear N95 masks with head straps in environments where there are a lot of people (particularly indoors). Given the more contagious variants, surgical masks are essentially not wearing a mask. Our preferred masks when flying are the 3M N95 masks.
  • If positive with COVID, do self-isolate and test yourself with rapid COVID test until negative. COVID typically can take 7 to 10 days to clear. Don’t infect others if you are infected. Also rest up and don’t “power” through. There is some evidence that trying to “power” through increases the risk of long COVID.
  • Avoid getting COVID repeatedly. Some evidence with repeated COVID infection, may increase risk of long COVID.
  • Maintain good airflow when possible. Measuring CO2 levels can be a proxy of what is considered good air exchange and an excellent device is found here.
  • Good air exchange could mean building a Corsi-Rosenthal box a relatively simple DIY.

New normal?

For us, as we continue to meet with family and friends and as we continue to travel, we also are very mindful of what we can do to minimize our chance of catching COVID. We won’t feel guilty if and when it happens as it may be impossible to evade COVID forever. However, we will continue to take smart steps to decrease our chances particularly since there is a lot we DON’T know about COVID and particularly around treatment and prognosis of those with long COVID.

Certainly a lot fewer colds or allergies since COVID started!

Stay safe out there!

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