Updated: Aug 15, 2021
Covid-19 is scary, and we all want to avoid contracting the virus. There are a few things that you can do to help minimize contracting the virus. I will break this into two sections non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical. The first thing is hand washing. Handwashing is crucial and reduces the spread of Covid-19. Ensure that you are using soap with good surfactant properties and ensure that the soap is not drying; soap with high alcohol levels can cause dry skin that can eventually crack. Wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds carry moisturizing hand cream. Know when to wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wear your mask, I know they are disliked, but this is a simple implementation that is very effective. Stay 6 feet apart. Avoid large crowds; this is important; the longer you are around a large group of people, the higher your risk for contracting the virus Covid-19. Be diligent in what you touch, and don't be afraid to sanitize your workstation (Michi, 2020). Second, get quality sleep; I never realized how insufficient sleep affects the body until I did overnight shifts and day shifts working 16-18 hours a day. Exercise, this is important. Physical activity has been proven to improve the clinical condition that is most frequently associated with severe Covid-19 (Dwyer et al., 2020). Physical activity contributes to healthier health outcomes. Increased activity has been proven to reduce cardiovascular diseases; reverse type II diabetes helps reduce hyperlipidemia. Lastly, monitor your health; you know your body better than anyone else; I always say air on the side of precaution; call your provider and follow their recommendations and guidelines if you develop symptoms.
This is essential, especially for minorities who face comorbidities.
Pharmacological ways to reduce Covid-19, Vaccination. So, there are various vaccines, and each has its own benefits and risk; let us explore them. Covid-19 vaccine has been around for over a year now, and there is a lot more information about each of them. In the United States, there are three different types of vaccines. Pfizer-BioNTech, this vaccine is approved for individuals 12 and older; it consists of two shots 21 days apart and is currently being studied on children between the ages of 5-11. Common side effects include chills, headache, local pain in the injection site, while rare side effects include anaphylaxis (A severe allergic reaction that will likely warrant the administration of epinephrine) and heart inflammation; this is seen more in young males. The current efficacy rate for this vaccine is 91.3%. Moderna was approved and recommended for individuals 18 and older and is currently being studied in children 5-11 years of age. This vaccine requires two injections 28 days apart. This vaccine's common side effects are chills, headache, local pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Uncommon side effects of this vaccine can trigger anaphylaxis and could warrant the use of epinephrine, cause inflammation of the heart muscle. The efficacy of this vaccine is currently between 86% and 90%. Lastly, Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This vaccine consists of one injection; it is presently used on individuals 18 and older. Common side effects are fatigue, fever, headache, injection site pain; the side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are milder compared to Moderna and Pfizer; there have been no known cases of anaphylaxis. However, uncommon side effects can cause blood clots and Guillain-Barré syndrome. The efficacy rate of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 72 (Katella, 2021).
Currently this information is for Covid-19, it is not reflective of any varients however these interventions may reduce the rate of contracting virous with integration into daily practices.
Dwyer, M. J., Pasini, M., De Dominicis, S., & Righi, E. (2020). Physical activity: Benefits and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 30(7), 1291–1294. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13710
Katella, K. (2021, August 10). Comparing the COVID-19 vaccines: How are they different? Yale Medicine. https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison
Michie. (2020, March 19). Behavioral strategies for reducing COVID-19 transmission in the general population. The Communication Initiative Network. https://www.comminit.com/content/behavioural-strategies-reducing-covid-19-transmission-general-population