A new survey shows that some Americans are finally realizing the COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse. They are correct. Experts are predicting we could soon rise back up to 200,00 cases a day, as hospitalizations and deaths rise. To help you stay safe, Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commission and board member of Pfizer, appeared on Face the Nation with some advice about who is in the most danger and how to keep our kids safe. Read on for 5 pieces of life-saving advice, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
“It’s certainly getting worse,” warned Gottlieb. “I think you’re going to start to see improvements particularly in the South, there’s evidence that the rate of growth in the cases in the South is starting to decline. The rate of expansion of the epidemic is clearly slowing in states like Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, but at the same time, we now see the virus spreading to Northern states. So cases are building in states like Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina. So this is an epidemic that’s going to sweep across the nation at different points in time.”
Gottlieb said Northern states are “not completely impervious. They have higher vaccination rates, there have been more prior infection, but there are still people who are vulnerable in those states. And the challenge right now is that the infection’s going to start to collide with the opening of school. And we have seen that the schools can become sources of community transmission when you’re dealing with more transmissible strains. We saw that in states like Michigan, Massachusetts, and Delta is far more transmissible. That creates a lot of risk that the spread in the Northern states is going to start to collide with the opening of school.”
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“Schools aren’t inherently safe,” said Gottlieb. “They can be made more safe if you take the proper steps, but we can’t expect the same outcome that we saw earlier with respect to the schools. where we were largely able to control large outbreaks into schools with a different set of behaviors. If we’re going to change what we do in terms of the mitigation, how we approach the schools—we’re going to withdraw masks, we’re not going to engage in testing, we’re not going to be podding students—we can expect a different result, especially with a more transmissible strain. I would enter the school year with a degree of caution and keep in place some of these measures and see how it goes. Particularly in areas where there’s higher prevalence.”
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“We’re dealing with a strain that we don’t fully understand,” said Gottlieb. “This strain is clearly more transmissible. It’s going to be harder to control in a school setting. And it may be more pathogenic. Kids are getting sick with it. We don’t know if they’re getting sick at a higher rate or we’re just infecting a whole lot of kids right now. I can’t think of a business right now that would put 30 people in a confined space without masks and keep them there for the whole day. No business would do that responsibly and yet that’s what we’re going to be doing in some schools. So I think we need to enter the school year with a degree of humility and prudence.” He added that if your child is over 12 and not vaccinated, “talk to your pediatrician.”
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So get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.