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5 Things to Never Do During The Delta Pandemic

Stay safe using this advice.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

Because of the surge of the Delta variant, the previously visible light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned into what seems like more tunnel. This summer, all of us have had to adjust our lives accordingly. But there are ways to stay healthy and happy in the new reality, until the end of the pandemic is truly in sight. These are five things you should never do during the Delta pandemic. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.

1

Never Be Unvaccinated

unrecognizable doctor trying to vaccinate its patient while she is refusing it.
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If you haven't yet been vaccinated, it's time. The evidence is clear: Getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid becoming seriously ill with or dying from COVID-19. Unpublished CDC data indicates that COVID vaccines are at least 94% effective against hospitalization in adults 18 to 74, CNN reported earlier this month. And the National Institutes of Health estimates that COVID vaccines prevented nearly 140,000 deaths in the U.S. through last May. Nearly all people who are currently dying of COVID-19 are unvaccinated. As President Biden said this week, "What are you waiting for?"

2

Never Leave Your Mask at Home

Latin woman shopping in supermarket refrigerators
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If you're vaccinated, that doesn't mean you should act as if COVID-19 is over. It isn't. That means even if your local area doesn't require wearing face masks indoors, it's a good idea. That's the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, mask up indoors in areas with substantial or high transmission of the virus.

3

Never Ignore Travel Warnings

female wearing protective mask while standing opposite the worker of airport and checking temperature
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Seventy-seven countries are now on the CDC's Level Four COVID risk assessment list, meaning transmission is "very high" there. "Avoid travel to these destinations," says the CDC. "If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel." On the list: the United Kingdom, France, Greece and Spain.  

4

Never Skip Exercise

Mature fitness woman tie shoelaces on road
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In her newsletter for the Washington Post, The Checkup, Dr. Leana Wen, this week advised vaccinated gymgoers to continue working out while reducing risk where they can, such as by social distancing. She encouraged a vaccinated 60-year-old, who worried about continuing her favorite water aerobics class even though she wouldn't be eligible for a COVID booster until December. "Exercise is great for improving physical and mental health and helps prevent many other diseases," said Wen. "If this is your favorite form of exercise, I'd encourage you to continue it, while reducing risk as much as possible."

5

Never Stress Out 

Businesswoman tries to cope with nervous tension or anxiety
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"Try to avoid or alleviate severe stress, which we know can sometimes impact the immune system," advised Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, when recommending ways to bolster the immune system against COVID-19. Chronically being stressed out causes the brain to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which has a number of negative physical effects, including weakened immunity. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress.

6

How to Stay Safe Out There

The female doctor syringe injection to the young patient put on a mask in the hospital
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Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—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.