I Got My Covid Vaccine. I’m Free. Whoa. Danger Still Lurks.

You have followed the science and not misinformation being distributed by conspiracy social media and news outlets. The CDC reports 50 percent of adult Americans have received one shot (25 percent are fully vaccinated). Based on our studies, we know that vaccines are not foolproof and side effects or infections after being vaccinated can occur. But weigh whether you want to be infected by COVID-19 with possible long-term damage or be vaccinated. We have interviewed many infected individuals who reported initial, mild conditions, but 7-9 months later, they still are experiencing loss of smell/taste, cardiovascular or lung damage, and breathing and fatigue difficulties. In fact, research has found that 30 percent will have long-term health problems.

The two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are extremely effective (90 percent) in preventing COVID-19, serious infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Many individuals feel once they have received their shots, they can return to a normal life with few precautions. However, the vaccines were produced to prevent the original COVID-19 virus. Scientists report the British COVID-19 is now the predominant US variant which the vaccines are doing a good job at protection. While there are 12 US variants, researchers are concerned about newer South African and Brazilian variants which can infect fully vaccinated people. Abut 7,000 infections have been reported among fully vaccinated Americans of which 400 were hospitalized and 74 died (40 percent of these individuals were 60+ years old). When you combine these “variants of concern” with fully vaccinated individuals having a 10 percent chance of being infected, we suggest the following after vaccinations:

Avoid Crowded Enclosed Spaces: Stanford University reports that 80 percent of the COVID-19 infections occur in restaurants (major source), bars, gyms, churches, and hotels.
Practice Safety: Wear quality masks, socially distance, and wash hands frequently. Masking protects others since vaccinated persons may spread the virus to others, while protecting themselves. If riding with someone in a car, crack the windows.

Prudently Socialize: Homes can be another source of infections, so invite small groups of 10 or less into your home who have been fully vaccinated (2 shots plus 14 days).
Limit or Avoid Airplane Travel: Board last and avoid drinking/eating while everyone has their masks off. Wear double masks until you are air-born when ventilation systems are working 100 percent. Airplane’s HEPA safely filters outside fresh air, but the person next to you or a few rows away may be infected with no symptoms.

Avoid Freaking Out. Don’t hide in your home or fear the virus but respect its dangers. Eat outdoors at restaurants; have gatherings outside; go to retail or grocery stores for brief periods of time with double masks and avoid any crowded rows. Remember that heated breath is the primary way the highly contagious virus spreads and can remain in the air for hours.

Take Vitamin D3: Early research suggests people with low Vitamin D may have a greater chance of being infected.

The Bottom Line: Herd Immunity is approaching. But expect annual COVID-19 booster shots to counter new variants. Hang in there.

Mike DuBose has been an instructor for the USC’s graduate school since 1985, when he began his family of companies, and is the author of The Art of Building a Great Business. Visit his nonprofit website www.mikedubose.com for a free copy of his book and additional published business, travel, and personal articles, as well as health articles written with Surb Guram, MD.

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