General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What illness precautions are you adhering to these days?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (37009points) May 30th, 2023

The WHO has declared the pandemic is over.

Vaccines have proven successful at reducing deaths to COVID. The deaths are not zero, but they are greatly reduced.

What precautions are you taking now in 2023?

Ladies and gentlemen and friends, this is a sensitive topic. This is a question about precautions, and I’ve put it in the General Section. You know the rules.

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38 Answers

janbb's avatar

I’m pretty much back to SNAFU recently; no masks, regular socializing, etc. I had a sinus infection last week and did test twice for Covid but I generally don’t think about it much any more. I haven’t decided yet about getting a Spring vaccine although I definitely plan to get one come Fall. I try to avoid very crowded indoor places but I don’t like them in any case.

canidmajor's avatar

I am glad that the death count is greatly reduced, but I know people who only look at those numbers. It is still a very nasty disease that can seriously lay one out.

I no longer worry as much around here, we’ve all been living in each other’s fug for 3 years, and doing OK. But I still don’t go into crowded places.
I have declined an invite to a big celebration on Cape Cod in high summer. Even masked and vaxxed, I don’t want to take a chance in a place full of people from all over the world. I’ll hate to miss it, but I would hate more to get very very ill.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I realized I didn’t reveal my own habits. I only wear a mask at work, because the office staff still do since the boss does. I wear one on the bus when I ride. I am fully vaccinated and have had as many boosters as they’ll give me at the age of 59.

ragingloli's avatar

I will continue working from home until forced otherwise.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@ragingloli Beginning in July, I will be allowed to work from home 3 days/week. I’m happy about that.

chyna's avatar

I’m keeping up with the boosters and trying to keep away from people that are hacking up lungs.

flutherother's avatar

I am much more relaxed now but I have yet to catch covid and my habits of going to the supermarket at quieter times and generally avoiding crowded places persist. I wash my hands as soon as I come back to my flat. I didn’t always do that pre covid. I don’t see many people with flu symptoms going about post covid but if I did, I would avoid them like the plague. I keep up with the boosters but I have stopped wearing a mask.

raum's avatar

Vaccinated and boosted. Have a mask with me at all times out of habit. But generally don’t mask up if it’s quick and not crowded.

Will mask up for doctors office, crowded indoor events where I’ll be for a longer time (like for a theatrical production). And also when I volunteer with special needs kids. (Some are immunocompromised.)

Will test if we have any symptoms that aren’t accounted for (like allergies).

We used to test before playdates and sleepovers. But have been pretty lax about that. Ended up getting a call after one kid having their first sleepover that another kid tested positive. Sigh.

Also more careful before visiting parents because they’re older. And my mom had to have twenty-three lymph nodes removed due to cancer. :/

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve received the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and a couple of boosters. Also had the pneumococcal pneumonia, shingles and flue vaccines. I never caught the Covid-19 disease.

I wear a face mask only when required to.

Life is good again now that the pandemic is over.

JLeslie's avatar

I usually wear a mask in public bathrooms and crowded indoor spaces like waiting on a line at Disney World. That is pertinent to my answer since I bought a Disney annual pass this year and am at Disney about once a month for a day or two. Where I live I don’t wear a mask in my zumba classes, but I sometimes do in discussion groups, I always have it around my neck in a discussion group. Outside I don’t usually wear a mask, but the exception is Disney (again), if a crowd is super dense and people are right up inches from me. I wear a mask shopping for clothes, especially if I try on. I wear a mask in the grocery store about half the time, but I still do about half of my shopping curbside pick-up.

I have only had three shots, I never had the bivalent vaccination. I intended to get the bivalent, but never made my way to do it. I am wondering how effective they think it is now with the virus continuing to drift. I did have a rare reaction to the shot each time, it starts within two minutes of receiving the shot and lasts for about a half an hour.

I have several friends who got pretty sick about 3 months ago, not covid, and one wound up on oxygen and her pulmonologist thinks she will never be quite the same. I read recently about the virus HMPV, and I bet that maybe she had it.

I have not had covid yet, and I have not been sick since covid started in the US. Definitely half of that is luck, because I am taking risks. Before covid I tried to stay away from sick people, I was never one of those people who said things like “it’s just a cold” I was always the person saying, “I don’t want to get sick stay away from me if you have a cold.” I also rarely trust people when they say they have allergies, unless they are close friends who I know really do have seasonal allergies, and I know they would stay away if they believed they were sick.

I heard recently covid deaths are down to 200 a day in the US, so that is still a lot of people, but half of what it was 6 months ago, I hope the trend continues to go down.

janbb's avatar

@gondwanalon I’m up to date on Shingrix, pneumonia and flu as well.

Cupcake's avatar

The current estimates are that each time you have a COVID infection, you have a 10% risk to develop long-COVID. Since I have become severely disabled from COVID, we still practice pretty strict avoidance measures. We all received the primary vaccination series and adults are 1x boosted, but none of us will get any further vaccination as it does not impact transmission and I am disabled as a result of the booster.

Our children no longer attend public school – they attend small private schools with high-quality indoor filtration and they wear new N95 masks daily. My husband works from home and I am unable to work.

When we leave the house, we wear KN95 masks with ear loops attached to a silicone holder behind our heads (wearing ear loops can reduce efficacy of masks up to 20–30%).

We schedule doctor appointments early in the day.

We avoid indoor restaurants and entertainment. The exception is that my husband and children occasionally (like twice a year) go to the movies, wearing masks, avoiding any eating or drinking indoors. We have, thus far, avoided outdoor entertainment but at some point will probably go to Disney or Universal, masked.

We do have “large” family gatherings with about a dozen people. Everyone takes rapid antigen tests beforehand and we have open windows and multiple air purifiers running.

Not to seem hysterical here, but my life is over because of COVID. If I were to get infected, I worry that I would quite literally die. Any further degeneration in my health status would have me consider assisted suicide. I can’t express to you all what a hell this is. My life will never be the same.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Cupcake I am so sorry. Sending you a virtual bear hug.

janbb's avatar

@Cupcake I am so sorry too!

jca2's avatar

I’ve gotten the two original vaccines but not any boosters. I had to have an appointment and discussion with my neurologist to get the vaccines since I had a disease 15 years ago where I was told at the time to never get any vaccines ever again.

I had covid twice, once in April 2022 and once in December 2022. The first time was a bad sore throat and a few days down, and the second was a few days of a bad cold and that was it. I don’t take any precautions now, except that I really haven’t gone to the movies except like two times since the start of the pandemic. I’ve been to concerts, plays, dinners, restaurants, parties. I don’t wipe surfaces and I don’t sanitize my hands with sanitizer. I never did, really, except if someone made me, like in a public place when they pushed sanitizer on people.

The only thing that’s changed as far as my behavior goes is that I’m not always so eager to kiss people hello and goodbye.

I’m pro vaccine and I’m pro-mask. I don’t wear masks now but I believe in them.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to add I do eat in restaurants; I eat out about 3–4 times a month. I am a little apprehensive about it, but when I decide to go I just go and put aside any apprehensions I might have. No point in worrying if you have decided to go ahead and take the risk. I have been staying in a lot of hotels too, which usually includes a buffet breakfast in the morning. I do use a hand wipe after I get all of my food and before I start to eat. A lot of the food is hand held, like English muffins or a bagel.

I am much more relaxed about getting sick than the first two years of covid, but I still believe I am much higher risk than the average 55 year old.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Back to normal here. I will likely not get any further vaccinations per my doc.

Acrylic's avatar

None. Did little during it all (masks weren’t required at work, thankfully), back to normal as nothing happened.

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filmfann's avatar

I am still avoiding movie theaters, which is huge for me. It may be a while before I am comfortable there.

If this were in Social, I would add that I still wear a condom when masterbating

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janbb's avatar

@Acrylic Could you just clarify what you mean? Do you mean nothing happened to you? You were lucky if so.

Acrylic's avatar

@janbb Yes. I took minimal precautions, never caught the covids or anything else. My wife works in Healthcare, worked very closely with elderly Covid-19 patients. Work required her to get 2 shots, wear a mask and shield at work. She saw many pass on to glory during that time, a little more than usual.
She also took more precautions during personal times, caught it December 2021, just before CDC dropped the 10 day off work thing. She had a stuffy nose for 2 days.

Thank you for asking for clarification, @janbb, and not making leaps to judgement.

raum's avatar

I’m so sorry, @Cupcake.

The father of one of our friends is in the hospital due to long COVID. It’s no joke.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I never got COVID or was mostly immune and never realized I had it, been back to normal for a long time now. I did get all the boosters but I’m done on that unless there is a real reason to get further vaccinations. I have been out in crowds regularly, on airplanes etc… life goes on for the time being. I do know someone with long COVID, it’s devastating.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@filmfann I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you for the hearty laugh!!!

Now to the Q…I’m NOT fully convinced that Covid is gone. Still, my life is as back to normal as it’s probably ever going to be. I’m in the age group where I need to be very careful. I’m fully vaccinated & boosted. I maintain the recommended social distancing. I faithfully wore my mask in the beginning. Once it became safer, I stopped wearing it & now I keep one in my pocket just in case I find myself in a situation where I feel uncomfortable…I can put it on. I only go to the store maybe once a week & I time that visit in the less busy time of day. I was working with emotionally challenged kids before. We discovered that once the initial rapport was set up that most of it could be handled over the phone. Most of my kids have graduated their therapy, so I decided to not take on any new kids. I’m going back into retirement. Any of my kids who graduated & feel they are going backward know that I’m only a phone call away to help them get back on their feet. So far, they are doing well!!!

I don’t enjoy being in large crowds, so I NEVER was one to go to concerts & sporting events. I haven’t been to a movie theater since 1990, so NO reason to start going now. I prefer to watch any movies I’m interested in seeing at home streaming on my TV where I can enjoy it. After my stroke, I had pretty much curtailed many of my activities. That means the pandemic never really changed my life that much except the lock down curtailed some of my options of what I wasn’t allowed to do!!! My BFF & her husband have had Covid twice in the last 6 months, so I’m still visiting with her but I maintain my distance & don’t hug her near as often. Otherwise, I feel my life is normal once again.

elbanditoroso's avatar

None. No precautions. I threw away my masks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has settled into a common cold – and I get those once a year. I’ve had all the vaccines that they offer so I figure i am covered.

I may be tempting fate, but I don’t perceive danger these days.

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gorillapaws's avatar

Whenever I find a random piece of gum under a table, I no longer chew it. I also avoid licking doorknobs.

In all seriousness, I’ll wear an N95 on an airplane or somewhere where you’ve got many people from potentially all over the world sharing the same air for many hours. And I’m happy to mask up for the safety or comfort of those around me if they request it. Not doing so is rude and potentially endangering to them. It’s funny how many people pretend to be Christian but then have no respect or love for their neighbors, Christ would probably have thrown them down the nearest staircase.

Kardamom's avatar

I still take all of the precautions. The only people in my very small sphere of friends and family are all high risk. Unfortunately I have lost 3 people to Covid in the last 4 months, one just 3 weeks ago. It has been a particularly devastating year. One friend, who is currently clinging to life, due to multiple medical issues, almost died of Covid 3 months ago, after having caught it in the hospital where she was taken for complications from kidney disease. She had to be intubated, put on a breathing tube, and have a tracheotomy. As of tonight, she is back in the hospital due to more kidney problems.

I am fully vaccinated, but am hoping that I can get a second bivalent booster. If I have to go inside of a store (I try to avoid that as much as possible), I wear 2 KN95 masks with a filter. I do not eat in restaurants, and I avoid family events. I do not go to movies or concerts. Crowds, especially indoors, make me anxious, even small crowds.

All of the people that I know that have passed from Covid this year were all vaccinated. Each of those people had some underlying conditions, and two of them caught Covid while in the hospital where they were taken for treatment for other conditions. Two of them were in their early 40s.

In January of last year another friend passed away from Covid after attending a large friends and family ski vacation. No one masked, even though it was right after the Christmas holidays, and the CDC (at that time) were still advising people to use caution, especially after big holiday spikes. At least one child who was sick with Covid was taken on this trip too. She was also vaccinated, but may not have been boosted, and as far as we knew, had no underlying health conditions. She was in her late 30s.

Over the course of this pandemic, which is still very much with us despite the government bailing out and declaring the emergency “over” I have lost 7 friends to Covid. The first 4 were before there were any vaccines. At least 2 friends, people in their mid 40s and 50s have symptoms of Long Covid. Both of them had Covid at least twice, and possibly more than that. I say that because they, and a lot of other people keep having “mystery illnesses” but because no one tests anymore, and the home tests are not particularly accurate (and often don’t show a positive for 5–7 days, even when symptoms are present) and aren’t always taken at the correct stage of infection, even if they do test. So I’m guessing that a lot of people have had Covid multiple times and just chalked it up to allergies or a bad cold.

Everything that I have read seems to suggest that the vaccines and boosters effectiveness starts to wane after just a few months, rendering the bivalent booster I got in September of 2022 not very protective.

One of my friends, a high risk mother of 3 kids, and the only other friend in my community who still masks and takes precautions (her kids are pretty much the only kids in their schools who mask) says that Covid is still running through the schools, both with students and teachers. It has wreaked havoc in the nursing home where her mother in law lives.

It boggles my mind that the CDC, and the government has decided that Covid is no longer an emergency, when clearly it is still prevalent, still spreading, and still taking lives.

I belong to 2 online groups, one local and one national, specifically for parents, and people with high risk people in their midst to find current scientific information, support, help with mitigation, and to discuss promising potential new treatments that might be coming down the pike. It can be very depressing reading about parents trying to protect their fragile children who have various medical conditions, such as cancer, having to navigate schools, doctors offices, and hospitals who no longer require even the most basic of infection control, wearing masks.

This article kind of sums it up for me:

Brian1946's avatar

Even before Covid, I was a socially quasi-isolated germaphobe.

When I go shopping, I take two bottles of Purell 70% alcohol hand sanitizer into the store with me. If I touch anything in the store before I touch anything on my person, I sanitize.
Consequently, the last time I had any illness was a cold in March, 2018.

None of the places I’ve been to this year have masking requirements, but I will wear one if required. This is why I carry an N95 in my car.

I got my second Omicron bivalent booster on May 1, 2023.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I tend to buy my groceries from Instacart and DoorDash. I wear a mask when I receive my order.

I also wash my hands with soap for 20 seconds, before eating.

Forever_Free's avatar

The same standards I have followed since I was a teen. Eat healthy, be active in your lifestyle, listen to your body, everything in moderation.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Kardamom I’m so very sorry you’ve experienced such devastation.

janbb's avatar

@Kardamom ^^ And me as well. Just horrible!

RocketGuy's avatar

I still wear a KN95 mask when I go on a plane. Downgraded to surgical mask when I go to the supermarket. Keeping up with vaccinations. I got my bivalent Covid/6G shot last Nov. My cellphone reception improved a lot.

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