Happy and Healthy New Year, everyone.
Well, it certainly hasn’t started that way, omicron has certainly been booming. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just today the Mercury News reported on very recent modeling to suggest that the omicron wave is cresting, and about to come down. The University of Washington’s influential Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model as of Jan. 8 predicts the present wave of daily U.S. cases will crest at around 1.2 million by Jan. 19 and begin to fall about as fast as it rose. For California, the crest will be a few days later around January 24th. So hang in there. For more on omicron, read below for Dr. Alan Spira’s overview piece on the COVID-19 omicron variant, Dr. Prerana Sangani’s article on the difference between a “molecular” COVID test and an “antigen” covid test, Dr. Jackie Phillips article on what to do if someone in your family (including you) gets COVID, and lastly, and (tech) interestingly, Dr. Sky Pittson’s article on how to enable exposure notifications and (confidentially) share your COVID diagnosis on your iphone or android phone. Cool.
Another quick update – beginning January 19th, Every home in the U.S. can soon order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests will be completely free—there are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number. Mark your calendar, and note this website, https://www.covidtests.gov . Note these will be “antigen” tests, not “molecular” (or PCR) tests, and are limited to 4 tests per household. You can read more about this program here.
But mostly, this is a time for continued precautions, generally staying home, and being supportive of all those who need to continue to work on the front lines as well as those who are impacted by school closures and workplace staff shortages. There is reason to believe that this current omicron surge might actually jumpstart the turning point in this pandemic. I am optimistic that the worst is nearly behind us.
Be well, stay safe, love,
Eric Weiss, MD, January 14, 2022
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD, MYSELF OR SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY GETS COVID?
Step 1: ISOLATE.
Fortunately, the simple answer to the above question has stayed the same throughout the pandemic – if you test positive for COVID, you should ISOLATE as soon as you can. It does not matter if you are asymptomatic or have symptoms, if you test positive – ISOLATE. It does not matter if you are unvaccinated, vaccinated or boosted – you still need to ISOLATE. Things get a bit more complicated when we start to talk about how long you need to isolate as guidance has changed with new variants and as we learn more about the virus… Read more
HOW TO ENABLE EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS AND CONFIDENTIALLY SHARE YOUR COVID DIAGNOSIS ON YOUR IPHONE OR ANDROID
Traditional methods of contact tracing are critical to containing the spread of infection. Technology can support and augment these efforts by allowing public health authorities to quickly notify people who may have been exposed to a person who has contracted COVID-19, including those the person might not know directly. This starts with Exposure Notifications on your smartphone. These will help your public health authority alert you if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19… Read more
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A “MOLECULAR” COVID TEST AND A “ANTIGEN” COVID TEST, AND DOES IT MATTER?
There are two main types of COVID-19 tests. Most of us know or have done a molecular tests, such as PCR tests. This test detects the tiniest bits of genetic code specific to SARS-CoV-2.
Molecular tests such as the PCR are highly accurate and are very good at picking up a true infection but are expensive, often have a several day lag in reporting and require a lab… Read more
COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT UPDATE
Yes, you and everyone you know knows someone who is down with COVID-19 right now. This is 2021 redux. We’d like to properly inform you about the facts as the data reveals them to be at this time and to reassure you as well as give you guidance on how to cope with this outbreak… Read more
OPTIMIZING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING OMICRON
Omicron appears to be less severe than previous variants, yet its high level of contagion leaves many people on edge. Audiences feel compelled to listen for Omicron news. Many individuals find themselves in a constant state of unrest given the increased rate of spread as well as fear of being infected. Additionally, an increased level of distress exists with the quantity of media released and attempting to decipher whom to trust. At times, people feel obliged to constantly view the news, lending to a constant state of panic and alarm… Read more
Yours, in health and resilience,
Eric and the TVD MD team…