Lessons from the Covid Pandemic

By Lupina Fry, Wellness Nurse

There were multiple things we learned going through the early stages of the Covid pandemic. You can have too much toilet paper if others need it too. You can’t trust everything you hear, turn to reliable and trusted sources for guidance. Staying active and socially connected is important for mental health and
wellbeing. Vaccines are important, but not the only defense. Practices such as masking, frequent and thorough hand washing and staying home when sick all worked to limit illness throughout the pandemic. And it not only limited the spread of Covid, but it also limited cold and flu transmissions as well.

Though we know Covid is spread by tiny aerosol particles as we talk, cough, or sneeze, science is still unsure how often it spreads through this airborne route. It’s also spread through surface transmission, from person to person by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Studies also suggest virus particles found in feces may also spread the virus. People could infect things or other people if they don’t wash their hands properly after using the bathroom. Perhaps one of the most puzzling things we’ve learned is that Covid affects people differently. Even when fully vaccinated, one person may have a few days of mild cold-like symptoms, but it can be a life-threatening situation for another.

Staying vigilant of the possibility of contracting any virus- cold, flu, RSV or Covid- from surfaces we touch makes sense. A good handwashing means 20 seconds of scrubbing all surfaces of both hands, top and palms, with warm soapy water, rinsing well, grabbing a paper towel, and drying your hands thoroughly then using that towel to turn off the water and if in the bathroom, to open the bathroom door. Carrying hand sanitizer when you’re out and about and especially keeping your hands and fingers out of mouth, nose, and eyes are important. If you’re traveling, in crowded areas or with strangers, wear a mask, and if you are feeling unwell, stay home. If you’re unsure if you have Covid perform a self-test and contact your primary care physician for support.

Covid isn’t going anywhere. Heeding lessons learned is our best line of defense for the continued health and safety of ourselves and our family, friends, and neighbors.

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