Since COVID first made itself widely known in 2020, our lives have been drastically altered. Nearly two years later, we continue to pivot. But what if pivoting is the new normal? Can we coincide with COVID long-term? Dr. Colbert of the University of Illinois at Chicago says simply, yes. “We need to begin to accept the idea that COVID is going to be with us for some time. We must begin the transition as a nation to the “new normal,” says Dr. Colbert, Assistant Program Director of the emergency medicine residency program at UIC. “Attending children’s events, entertaining friends and family at small home gatherings, and going on vacation is all possible if done safely and correctly,” adds Colbert.
Currently, 1,400 deaths a day across the US are contributed to COVID and there continues to be a significant rise in both positive cases and admissions, including those of children. Pediatric admissions both to the pediatric general floor and the intensive care unit have skyrocketed. “Hospitalizations for children, especially for those too young to receive a vaccination have jumped considerably. We are seeing a remarkable increase in children coming into the emergency department. Until vaccines are approved for this age group, we must do everything we can as a society to protect them. There are many steps parents can take to ensure they are doing everything they can to avoid infection of our youngest population,” remarks Dr. Colbert.
States across the country have started receiving their first shipments of COVID antiviral pills from both Pfizer and Merck. Still, demand is far outweighing supply. Currently, shipments are said to be scarce, but Dr. Colbert is hopeful the supply chain will soon catch up. “The approval of the two new COVID antiviral pills is yet another advancement in science, another tool in our toolbox to getting COVID under control. It is important to note, vaccinations still remain key and are our first line of defense,” notes Dr. Colbert.
Part of the first line of defense, booster shots. Children as young as 12 are now able to receive their booster shot, five months after completing their vaccination series.
If you are planning to dine out, you may need proof of vaccination. Vaccination cards are now required at restaurants and bars in the city as well as some neighboring counties. The move considered controversial by some yet welcomed by others. Another measure put into place, as we learn to coincide with COVID in our communities.
OTHER TOP TOPICS FOR JANUARY:
- Mental Health Awareness Month
Dr. Colbert can discuss the importance and provide examples of ways we can support a lifestyle geared towards better mental health, especially now.
- Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
Each year, more than 14,000 women are diagnosed with this invasive cancer. Dr. Colbert can expand on both the importance of regular screening and the benefits of vaccination.
- Containing Control of Asthma
The winter months can be difficult for those who suffer from asthma, add on COVID and it’s more than enough to add an extra cause for caution. Dr. Colbert has advice on how to participate in daily activities while minimizing the risk of an asthma attack.