Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The coronavirus is one of the most contagious viruses that the world has ever encountered. Important strides were made in the battle against the deadly virus and Covid-19. As of the beginning of May 2023, a total about 1,131,819 Covid-19 related deaths were reported in the U.S. Worldwide, there were 6,921,614 deaths.

Current vaccines have demonstrated a high degree of efficacy, and safety profile. The benefits significantly outweigh the potential risks. The virus has been partially contained, but nowhere has it been stopped or eradicated. The World Health Organization (WHO), and the United States have determined that the waters have been sufficiently calmed. Accordingly, in early May 2023, the world body declared that Covid was no longer a global public health emergency (PHE), and the U.S. ended the Federal Covid-19 PHE Declaration. Neither entity has suggested that the infection no longer exists; certainly not when there are still more than one hundred Covid-19 related deaths daily in the U.S. alone. In the official statement the WHO Director-General pointed out that “COVID-19 is now an established and ongoing health issue….” The CDC is adding Covid-19 to its routine public health practice.

Looking back at human history, another pandemic is all but certain in the future. The London-based predictive health and data analytics company Airfinity’s has predicted a 27.5% likelihood of a pandemic as deadly as COVID-19 by 2033. It is important to remain vigilant for any storm clouds ahead and not to drop our guard. Public health and scientific experts will continue to provide limited epidemiological and research data to guide the decision making of governments, authorities, and individuals alike.

We should remain cognizant of all the tools that we have in our toolbox. Should the need arise, there are preventive measures that we can take to reduce the spread of the coronavirus or other future pandemic, and protect our self, family, friends, and community. It is a good practice to seek the guidance of public health authorities and health care providers, especially to immunocompromised or other high risk persons.

1. Use of a close fitting face mask that fully covers the nose, mouth, and chin. A face shield alone does not meet these criteria.

2. Proper hygiene with hand washing using soap and water, and where available use of a sanitizer.

3. Physical spacing, which is my preferred terminology, but is commonly erroneously referred to as social distancing.

4. Avoidance of crowds.

5. Diagnostic Testing when there are suspicious symptoms.

6. Staying informed and up to date with medical and regulatory guidelines. Misinformation can be very harmful, so stick with reputable sources of information such as the CDC, your hospital network, and your healthcare provider.

The Covid-19 emergency was a true reminder that we are each other’s keepers! The performance and tireless devotion to duty of frontline healthcare personnel, and other essential workers, pointed out that not all heroes wear capes. Some wear white coats, scrubs, or bouffants, and others wear helmets, or toque hats. Some with the right stuff wear their wings on their chests, and there are others who show their stuff by keeping the wheels rolling no matter what the road.  Lest we forget, some heroes wear the scars of survival and triumph over trauma and tribulation.

Be well and be safe. We are all in this together. We all breathe the same air.

Click on a site to get information…

Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus and COVID-19 Website

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Vaccine Site Finder

National Institutes of Health Research Information

UNICEF Information Center

WHO Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) Situation Reports

Johns Hopkins Medicine Coronavirus Facts Infographic

Mass General Brigham Covid-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Covid-19 Vaccine, and Flu Vaccine Sites and Appointments

Massachusetts Covid Vaccine Sites and Appointments

Free Telehealth for Covid-19 Treatment with Paxlovid