As offices open this fall, many businesses are striving to have a higher proportion of their workforce attend in person. Schools also expect to have full enrollments in the majority of locations. Concurrently, summer travel was busier than in the previous two years as worldwide travel increased prominently. With so much of the world starting to get back to normal, attention to COVID-19 safety will be even more important for everyone for multiple reasons. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Regulatory bodies are waving requirements in droves. Masking will be decreased everywhere. Mandates for keeping vaccines and boosters current are disappearing. As a result, people can expect many other individuals to be participating in regular societal activities without any checks on their health status and leaving many cases undiagnosed.
Without any scrutiny of their health, people will assume the pandemic is over. Unfortunately, it is not as hundreds of thousands of documented COVID cases are still occurring weekly as of early September in the US (and possibly hundreds of thousands of other uncounted cases).
The proportion of vaccinated individuals in the US is much less than in most other developed countries (and some underdeveloped countries). The proportion of those with additional booster coverage is even worse. To make matters worse, many of these shots and boosters occurred in the first year and a half that vaccines were made available, leaving many of these individuals with possibly no COVID antibody protection now due to decreased levels over time.
Recently, a major bill from the Biden Administration that was designed to keep money flowing to COVID safety treatment and prevention was voted down. This rejection meant less funding would be available for COVID diagnostic tests, vaccine administration clinics, and COVID education. Without this support, expect more individuals to be vulnerable to COVID and others to be underdiagnosed with the disease creating a more dangerous atmosphere for all.
This year Australia and New Zealand had their worst flu season in several years. Since these Southern Hemisphere countries often predict the severity of the North American flu season, epidemiologists are concerned about the upcoming number of flu cases. To make matters worse, flu shot acceptance may be decreased this winter due to the call for additional COVID shots. Worries about the so-called “twindemic” may finally be realized.
Dr. Soumi Eachempati is a Co-Founder and CEO of Cleared4 and is a former Professor of Surgery and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College where he worked from 1998-2017. Among his many accolades, Dr. Eachempati was also the Director of both the Surgical ICU as well as Trauma at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Center. He also received an appointment in the Division of Public Health.
Dr. Soumi Eachempati