Experts Say You Can Stop Worrying About These COVID-19 Precautions

For a while we thought things were heading in the right direction, but now it appears celebrations were premature. Over the past week, the United States saw a daily increase of 41 percent in the number of coronavirus cases being reported across the country, and there are now more than 8.9 million active cases, and more than 227 thousand deaths (via New York Times). 

It may help to know that the U.S. is not alone. Europe is experiencing a new wave of the disease too; the World Economic Forum says the region is reporting 200,000 new cases a day, and there are concerns that the pandemic will eventually hurt economic recovery in that part of the world.

In spite of the rising case counts there is some good news. Doctors and researchers now know more about COVID-19, and as such may be better prepared to handle the disease when it strikes again, which is a far better place to be than we were more than half a year ago when, as The University of Washington's Dr Carl Bergstrom put it, "You can at best make guesses based on what you know about previous coronaviruses and prior outbreaks of other respiratory viruses" (via Eat This, Not That!)

And thanks to research, we are in a better place to figure out what is most likely to work, as well as what won't, this time around. 

The CDC and FDA have amended their recommendations on life under the pandemic

If you are getting your food or groceries delivered still, it may be useful for you to know that the CDC and the FDA have changed its recommendations about the pandemic since it first gripped the country back in the spring. While the coronavirus has been known to survive on different types of surfaces, the FDA says there is currently no evidence that shows food, or food packaging, can help transmit the coronavirus.

Having said that, the FDA warns that there are still steps you need to take in order to make sure you don't sick while you're out getting groceries. These measures including keeping a mask on, wiping down the handles of your shopping cart or basket with disinfectant wipes, and practicing social distancing while shopping. When you're done and you've returned home, wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after putting away your groceries (via FDA).

The CDC also says that disposable gloves don't do much to protect you when you're shopping or doing errands, so you're better off saving money and the environment by buying soap instead, because like the FDA, it recommends hand washing for 20 seconds before and after running errands. But the CDC still wants you to keep high-touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, and countertops both cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Supplements aren't known to be effective against the coronavirus

We know cases of COVID-19 are spiking around the country, and while we also know that Vitamins C, D, and zinc have been proven to be important in arming our immune systems against a potential coronavirus onslaught, the World Health Organization insists that there are no professional guidelines in the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in relation to COVID-19, neither are they able to treat or cure the disease.

On a site dedicated to debunking coronavirus-related myths, the WHO also says hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine neither helps people who have a mild form of the disease, nor does it prevent death among the seriously ill. The drug was first proposed and promoted in the early days of the pandemic, most notably by President Donald Trump — and it is not known whether he actually took the drug when he came down with the coronavirus.

Dr Fauci's recommendations have stayed constant

In the end, the one constant throughout the pandemic has been Dr. Anthony Fauci's advice on how to protect yourself against COVID-19. Dr. Fauci calls masking a "flagship" piece of low tech coronavirus protection which can now be obtained with little difficulty, but which isn't universally used. Doctors also say that with the coming of colder weather, we're more likely to gather indoors, making it more difficult to avoid people as a result, and crowded, indoor spaces can actually provide the conditions that allows the virus to build up in the air — making the use of masks even more critical (via Business Insider). 

"If you put masking with keeping distances, and avoiding congregate settings and crowds, and trying to do things outdoors more than indoors, it makes a difference," Dr Fauci says. "It really, really does."

As an added bonus, the WHO has reiterated that the use of masks doesn't cause carbon dioxide intoxication or oxygen deficiency.