Top tips for protecting yourself against ‘the worst version’ of COVID-19 while traveling during the holidays - BA.4 & BA.5 Variant
A recent article by West Coast Correspondent Andrew Romano titled ‘The worst version of COVID is spreading. Can we update our vaccines in time?’ highlights the extraordinary job COVID-19 vaccines have been doing in shielding us from illness, hospitalization and death over the last 18 months. Romano does, however, make a very relevant point when stating, “But viruses evolve, and vaccines should too.”
According to Romano, the Omicron strain that set off the immense COVID wave (BA.1) last winter is now extinct. BA.1 is currently being replaced by the much more transmissible variants BA.4 and BA.5.
“Experts say BA.5 is the one to worry about: “The worst version of the virus that we’ve seen,” as Dr. Eric Topol, the founder of Scripps Research Translational Institute, recently put it. Together, the closely related BA.4 and BA.5 now account for the majority of new U.S. COVID cases, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but BA.5 (36.6%) is spreading a lot faster than BA.4 (15.7%). By early July, it will be the dominant strain in the U.S.” reports Romano.
This newly available data makes it clear that it’s currently just as important as ever to make sure you and your family are protected against COVID at all times. The summer holidays are a prime time for traveling across the country and, unfortunately, a great way for the virus to travel as well.
With this in mind, here are some tips to help protect yourself while traveling during the holidays:
- Maintain a safe distance of at least 3 feet from others, even if they don’t appear to be sick.
- Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands regularly.
- Wear a mask in public, especially when physical distancing is not possible and when indoors. An N95 respirator offers the highest level of protection because it filters out both large and small particles when the wearer inhales.
- Choose open, well-ventilated spaces over closed ones, especially restaurants where you sit down and might spend a couple of hours. Open a window if indoors.
The World Health Organization states that by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions you can protect yourself and those around you. It is also important to check with your local health authority for the most relevant guidance for your region.
Be sure to check out Planet Halo Health for all your face mask and PPE needs. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly special deals, coupon codes, and new products.