Mask up, again!

Hello, and welcome to another Wellness Wednesday! This is not the topic I was going to discuss today, however in light of all the new information, and the fact that this is a Health blog I decided to talk about it. This is information and my thoughts. I am in no way, telling people to either get the vaccine or not. This post may contain affiliate links.

First, some background on my experience. I have Kidney Disease. I do not typically get the Flu Vaccine because the couple of times I did get it I got sick anyways. But, Covid was a different story for me. Covid attacks the kidneys and destroys them. I only have one so the risk of not getting the Covid vaccine was too great. I work in Health Care. I have taken care of people with Covid, and I have been exposed by people with Covid. I was fully vaccinated as of March 10 of this year. You can read about my experience with the second Moderna shot. Either my daughter, or myself, have been disinfecting our frequently touched areas every day for over a year, until May that is. We stopped wearing masks in public after the CDC said we could, as all of us are now fully vaccinated, including my teenager. Even though I work in Health Care I have never tested positive and I get tested a lot. Almost exactly 4 weeks ago, a fellow coworker and friend of mine, who is not vaccinated sat in my office doing paperwork with her mask off the whole time. I still wore my mask as I knew she was not vaccinated but required to test weekly. I only removed my mask when drinking from my water bottle. Three days after that I learned that she tested positive for Covid, and then three days after that she was admitted to the ICU with Covid Pneumonia. My job rapid tested me 4 days after I was exposed, and I was negative. One week after my exposure I started experiencing a mild scratchy throat. My job advised me it was ok to come to work and they would rapid test me again. Again, I was negative. Towards the end of my shift I could tell I was coming down with something and left early. My husband and daughter also got sick, though milder than I did. We all got a PCR test on the same day and were all in various stages of something. We all tested negative. Because I work in Health Care I was advised to self quarantine until my PCR test came back negative. There is a point to this keep reading. We went back to wearing masks after this, even before we were advised to do so. I have also gone back to disinfecting daily.

My friend did not have the Delta variant. But, now 3 weeks after her illness we have an outbreak at my work. I do not yet know if it is the Delta variant, but they believe most likely it is. I have heard of other outbreaks in my area where vaccination rates are very low, below 30% in some spots. Today, I had to go get PCR tested, again, due to the outbreak at work. I go to the Health Department, and the line which typically is one or two cars, had about 20 cars in line. Again, I do not know if any of the new cases are the Delta variant, but I can presume because of how fast the cases have exploded in the past few weeks.

If you have been paying attention then you know the CDC just issued new mask rules telling the vaccinated to mask up again indoors in communities with high spread of Covid. Unvaccinated people should have never stopped wearing masks indoors. Indoors does not mean in your own personal home, though if there is an outbreak in your home that may be prudent.

My point to all of this is what the CDC said that the new Delta variant has changed the game for mask wearing.

Some key points I would like to make.

  1. Being vaccinated does not mean you can’t catch Covid. Your chances are much smaller, and you most likely will get a milder illness and not need hospitalization. Nor will you most likely die if you are vaccinated and get Covid.
  2. The vaccine protects you, and those around you because it was thought the vaccinated could not spread it if they did get it. However, the new Delta variant they say has a 1,000 times the viral load of the other variants. It was also stated in tests that a vaccinated person had just as much viral load in their nose as an unvaccinated person with the Delta variant. This also means that vaccinated people, with that higher viral load, can transmit the virus to other people. That is why the new mask guidance came out, because the new variant is stronger and more dangerous.
  3. The longer it takes to reach Herd Immunity the higher chances of the virus infecting people and mutations will continue to occur. A virus needs a host to live. Humans are the host for Covid. If Herd Immunity is reached then the virus can no longer have a host and no longer can mutate. The video below explains virus mutation quite well.
  4. We already know that asymptomatic people can spread Covid.
  5. Children under 12 do not have a vaccine offered to them as yet. This puts them at a huge risk for getting Covid. The original variant did not seem to effect young children much and it was possible they could not spread it. We do not know if the Delta variant will react the same way to children. We have lost over 600,000 people to Covid in the USA alone, whether you agree with how that data was collected, or not, it is the statistic. Are we prepared to start losing large numbers of children to this virus?
  6. If you absolutely do not want to get the vaccine, or can’t for some reason, masks work. They act as a barrier to the virus entering your nose or mouth where the virus can grow and you will become infected. They also act as a barrier to the virus leaving your nose and mouth if you are infected. That protects others. Masks are most important when indoors especially with close proximity to others, if there is not good ventilation, or if proper disinfecting is not taking place. They are not perfect, nor are they 100%, but they are an awesome tool. Even before Covid I would wear a mask during regular Flu Season to avoid getting it. They work for any respiratory illness you may wish to not get. You may wish to wear eye protectors if you are in an area with high community spread and you are indoors.
  7. I had to quarantine and miss 3 days of paid work due to being directly exposed to someone who was positive for Covid they weren’t wearing a mask. I know I personally can not afford to do that every time someone exposes me. Your own place of business may have different rules, but because I work in Health Care and I got symptoms, I had to quarantine until I got a negative PCR test, not a rapid test.

I tend to ramble, but I hope you see my points. The videos below are short and explain it even better. I urge you to watch them and keep an open mind no matter your decision. Please talk to your health care provider also, to learn more and what is best for you.

Stay safe and healthy!


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