4.28.22 – Protecting Yourself and Others from COVID: What Now?

Hi, I’m Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the health officer for Anne Arundel County. Welcome to our Weekly Health Update. The COVID-19 vaccines, masks, at home testing, and treatment are how you can continue to protect you and your loved ones from COVID. Protecting yourself from Covid is more complex and confusing these days. Today, let’s talk about how to figure out what you should do.

We’re in a different phase of Covid now. Our approach from the beginning has been to protect ourselves AND others. Over the past few months, we’ve seen the burden shift from a collective responsibility to limit the spread of Covid to placing more responsibility on individuals. Shifting that responsibility means that each of us now has to figure out what to do.

Should I wear a mask when I go to the grocery store? How about the mall?
I’ve got a stuffy nose. Are those just allergies, or should I test?
Should I get the second booster? If so, when?

These are just a few of the questions we have to think about. Sometimes we have to make these decisions multiple times a day. It can be confusing to figure out what to do. And tiring.

One way to deal with it is to make simple rules for yourself. For instance, if I have any symptoms, even if I think it’s not Covid, I’ll test. Or, “I’ll always wear a mask at the grocery store”. When you make a simple rule, you make it easier to protect yourself and others.

As we get used to this new phase, it will get easier to figure out what to do. Each of us will get a better feel for how to manage risks and what our risk tolerance is. Also, keep in mind how you protect others as well, because we’re still all in this together.

We’ve made it this far together and as we move forward, let’s continue to support one another and protect ourselves, our families and our community.

Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll see you next week.

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