The BA.5 surge is a reminder that we need to take precautions to avoid illness, slow the relentless cycle of new variants and minimize the disruption to our daily lives.

How to Live With Covid When You Are Tired of Living With Covid

The United States is in the midst of another coronavirus surge, this time thanks to the Omicron subvariant BA.5. Scientists warn that the new subvariant appears to be the virus’s most transmissible version to date, and it is reinfecting people who have already dealt with previous variants once or twice, sometimes as recently as a few weeks ago. The small percentage of people who avoided Covid-19 for two and a half years are also finding out BA.5 has ways of slipping past their defenses. Even President Biden, who had managed to avoid an infection, tested positive on Thursday. Like many Americans, the president and his aides had let their guard down, loosening stringent Covid precautions previously employed at the White House.

Everyone just wants to get back to normal, though polls show that few Americans are sure what living with Covid should really look like. Most cities are unlikely to bring back mask mandates or other protective measures used earlier in the pandemic, or even in the original Omicron surge. “We’ve had a shift in our baseline,” said Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Hospitalizations have roughly doubled since May and more than 400 Americans are dying every day, but these numbers are significantly lower than the peak of the winter Omicron wave. “Earlier in the pandemic, we would never have accepted these numbers,” Dr. Osterholm said.

There’s also the potential for developing symptoms of long Covid, which researchers are trying to fully understand. Still, experts are weighing in on those concerns. “We can live our lives knowing very well that this risk exists,” said Dien Ho, a bioethicist at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The question is, Which public health measures does the nation need to prioritize? And what can you do individually to lower your risk of exposure, slow the relentless cycle of new variants and minimize the disruption to daily life? Here are five steps to take, If you have not received your booster or any shots at all experts say that the current surge is a good reason to schedule an appointment now. Vaccines provide excellent protection against serious illness and booster shots can amplify those benefits. But fewer than half of Americans have received boosters, and less than a third of adults who are eligible for their second booster (or fourth shot) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s use of the term “fully vaccinated” to describe the first two doses of vaccines early in the pandemic has not helped. Although the agency has since switched to saying that people should be “up to date” with all their shots, the early use of “fully vaccinated” has unfortunately stuck

Source: This news is originally published by nytimes

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