If You're This Age, Fear COVID, Virus Expert Warns
The coronavirus isn't over, despite the light at the end of the tunnel appearing; there's a subset of the population that is in fact in quite a bit of danger now. For them, hospitalizations and deaths are rising, and the spectre of Long COVID—a syndrome that can lead to fatigue, brain fog and other horrific symptoms that may last a lifetime—looms large. Dr. Syra Madad, infectious disease epidemiologist, appeared on MSNBC's All In with Zerlina Maxwell to discuss who is more at risk these days, and shared 5 key points that may save your life. Read on for her essential advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It.
The Virus Expert Warned Not Everyone is Safe From COVID—Young, Unvaccinated People are At Risk Right Now
Not everyone is safe from COVID, despite cases dropping. "So, starting with the key fact, when you hear young people say, well, I'm healthy, I don't need to get vaccinated, that's the furthest from the truth," said the doctor. "So, first, young individuals are susceptible to infection, they are susceptible to hospitalization and death and we are seeing that across the U.S. and across the world. More young adults are getting infected and ending up in hospitals, require ICU care. And when we look at the younger populations, certainly we're seeing less number in terms of death from them. But we have also the risk of Long COVID. So, you're seeing Long COVID is something that is infecting many people, both young and old, people that have mild illness, or may not even know that they were infected. And these are, you know, symptoms and issues that they're facing weeks or months out."
The Virus Expert Said There's Good News and Bad News About the Vaccination Progress
Dr. Madad said things are changing now. "I think are in a good position here in the United States where cases and infection rates and deaths are declining, and vaccination rates are increasing," she said. "But certainly, if we are to look at getting out of this pandemic, we want to try to vaccinate as many people as possible. And we're going to hit a wall, I would say probably in the next couple of weeks where we're going to have a surplus of vaccine supplies and less demand for it. You're seeing that now…less number of people are getting vaccinated on a daily basis."
The Virus Expert Said Vaccine Hesitancy Will Be a Hurdle
"We certainly want to address vaccine hesitancy right on and front on, if you will. And I think there's a couple of things to mention. The reasons why people accept, decline, or just want to wait are for many different reasons, it could be because of their political affiliations. And you're seeing more Republicans refused to get vaccinated. It could also be because of personal experience, knowledge gaps….So, there are many different factors here at play that we want to address, very specifically and very methodically, and with compassion and empathy."
The Virus Expert Said Herd Immunity Isn't Necessary (Which is Good Because We Might Not Achieve It)
There is talk that "herd immunity" won't be achievable in the USA; that getting the most people vaccinated as possible will have to do, and then COVID-19 will just have to be contained after that, like the flu. "First, herd immunity is something that was very much talked about in the first year of the pandemic. And I think we can certainly look at herd immunity or just generally, we don't need to have herd immunity to slow transmission. And we`re seeing that with COVID-19 vaccines, we`re seeing that the vaccines are extraordinary, they're working so well," said the doctor. "And that's where you're seeing in New York City that a July 1st reopening mark, which is a good goal to achieve"
The Virus Expert Says Children Will Need to Get Vaccinated Eventually
"When we look at children, we certainly need them to be vaccinated because they make up 25 of the population," said Dr. Madad. "And we have vaccines that are in file right now for that population, so we just want to make sure we build that confidence in the young generation as well." Until then, follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, 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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your health, don't miss these Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.