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How The Northeast Can Prevent A Covid-19 Surge This Winter According To Dr. Fauci 

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently spoke on CNN to advise the Northeast on the best ways to prevent a wave of Covid-19 this fall and winter season. The South is currently enduring multiple waves and spikes on infection, but Fauci believes those in the Northeast can get ahead of it. 

“It is within our power, and within our grasp, to prevent another wave from occurring. The way to do it is by utilizing mitigation measures like wearing masks indoors and in schools, as well as increasing vaccination rates.”

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Evidence has shown that vaccine mandates do lead to more people getting vaccinated, and the more vaccinated people there are in a given community, the more protected that community will be. President Joe Biden stressed the importance of people getting vaccinated on Monday while he received his booster shot. 

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That’s why I’m moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can.”

Former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb estimated that “the Delta wave of the pandemic could run its course by Thanksgiving, and Covid-19 could eventually become more of a seasonal nuisance than a devastating pandemic. But that is dependent on getting a lot more people vaccinated.”

55.4% of the US is currently fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. The daily pace of new vaccinations is the lowest it’s been since the CDC started tracking it back in January. 

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Health experts have also been discussing using vaccine boosters as a way to increase protection against the virus. Booster shots are not currently accessible to everyone, and even when they do become more widely available, it won’t solve the issue of the part of the population still refusing to get their inoculations. 

While mask and vaccine mandates have been highly politicized and debated, the data is accurate. Vaccine mandates lead to more individuals getting vaccinated, that’s a fact. The more people who get vaccinated in a given community, city, state, etc., the more protected that space will be. 

Currently Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is available in booster form for people 65 and older and adults with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of infection. 

Fauci said that “many people are still well protected from their initial Covid-19 vaccination, while certain categories of people, such as the elderly and those in long-term care facilities, may be ready for a boost six months after their initial vaccination. If you’re a person who ultimately might get a booster that will make you optimally protected, you don’t necessarily need to get it tomorrow.”

US Will Not Lift Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Amid Spreading Of Delta-Variant

The United States has no plans to lift any of the existing travel restrictions put in place to protect from the spreading of Covid-19 and its much more contagious Delta variant. 

White House Officials told the media this week that this means the long-running travel restrictions that have barred a lot of the world’s populations from coming into the US will not be lifted anytime soon. 

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“Given where we are today with the Delta variant, the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point. Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here, particularly among unvaccinated citizens.”

US airlines and the tourism industry in general has been hoping that this summer could help rebuild what was lost last year when everyone was forced to stay home. Airlines have been lobbying with the White House for the past few months in order to find new and safe ways to get Americans to travel more this summer. 

Currently the US bars any non-US citizen from coming into the country if they have been to the United Kingdom, 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran or Brazil within the past 14 days. 

Last week, the US Homeland Security Department claimed that US land borders with Canada and Mexico will also remain closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21st. Canada has said that it would begin allowing fully vaccinated Americans into the country after August 9th. 

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky said Thursday the “seven-day average of new cases in the United States was up 53% over the previous week. The Delta variant, which was first found in India, now comprises more than 80% of new cases nationwide and has been detected in more than 90 countries.”

“The administration understands the importance of international travel and is united in wanting to reopen international travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Friday said international travel is “something we would all like to see — not just for tourism, but for families to be reunited. However, we rely on public health and medical advice on when we’re going to determine changes to be made.”

The Biden Administration has been in talks with US airlines in recent weeks about how to establish an international contact tracing program for passengers before they lift any restrictions. As of right now the CDC has imposed a mandatory Covid-19 testing rule for nearly all international air travelers.

Medical Masks

CDC Director Defends Controversial New Mask Guidelines 

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, took to Capitol Hill this week to justify the CDC’s decision to release new guidelines that allow vaccinated individuals to go without a mask in most outdoor and indoor settings. 

Initially, Walensky was just going to discuss the CDC’s proposed budget with the press, however, she quickly began being confronted with questions about the guidelines and the controversy surrounding it; many people think the CDC was premature in their announcement, and are giving non-vaccinated individuals a free pass to go without a mask in public. 

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“The country is not uniform, you really need to interpret our guidence in the context of what is happening in your community.” 

The major issue with this statement from Walensky is that America is so large, and so many individuals feel differently about being vaccinated. She continued to discuss how the “United States is not a homogenous country, so the CDC is letting states and localities decide how to implement the new guidance.” 

Although the CDC released these new guidelines, they did not tell any governors or local leaders how to implement the guidance based on their specific infection and vaccination rates. This has left political leaders completely blind, and confused, as to when it’s safe enough to lift their mask mandates. 

Wednesday’s press conference proved that America’s lawmakers are just as confused as average Americans, which is a major problem considering our political leaders have been the main authority figures throughout this pandemic. Now that the CDC has more of an authority in the White House, it’s confusing that they’re not helping specific state leaders determine when to lift their mandates. 

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Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin spoke out against the confusion: “What should workplaces be doing right now? I’m especially concerned with food-processing plants, of which Wisconsin has a high number. Many such plants are crowded facilities where there’s going to be a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. My state also experienced multiple coronavirus outbreaks in a number of meat-processing plants last spring.”

United Food and Commercial Workers International is a union that represents people in the food service industry in America. They also spoke out against the CDC’s general guidelines, claiming that the guidance “fails to consider how it will impact essential workers who face frequent exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks. We worry that these workers could be forced to become the vaccination police, asking people about their status, and potentially asking them to mask up.” 

As most of us have seen, many businesses have had to fight customers tirelessly who refused to wear a mask for whatever reason. The CDC claimed that they will be giving update guidance for workplaces and other settings, but it’s unclear as to when that will be; the White House was apparently completely surprised by the CDC’s initial announcement that vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks. 

Although there’s an obscene level of confusion among the individuals who are supposed to be keeping us safe and guiding us in the right direction toward the end of this pandemic, the rate in which Americans are being vaccinated is a major turning point for the past year. Hopefully more Americans will continue to get their vaccines, and life can really begin to feel normal again.

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How To Protect Yourself From Covid-19 

The coronavirus pandemic has been truly unpredictable to say the least. The way it travels, spreads, and reacts inside of our bodies has proven to be unexpected, however, if one thing has remained common throughout the past six months it’s been the universal desire to find a vaccine, and curve the overall spread of the virus. So what are some of the most effective proven ways to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus?

First we need to best understand how this virus moves, which is difficult considering even the world’s smartest scientists are still trying to work that out. The World Health Organization was recently confronted by over 200 scientists from over 30 countries who were urging the organization to acknowledge the possible role of airborne transmission, to which they complied. 

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“Under certain conditions short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a long period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently acknowledged the possibility of airborne transmission on their website, claiming that Covid-19 can spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes. These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Both the CDC and WHO have acknowledged, however, that these repertory droplets are more likely to cause infection from landing on certain shared surfaces that are then touched by other individuals. The haziness surrounding the airborne quality of this virus has also been focused on less due to the fact that mask-wearing is the most effective way to combat that. If you go out in public, wear a facial covering and then get clean immediately upon returning home, you’re likely to be safe. 

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When in an indoor setting, it’s best if you remain as distanced as possible from others who aren’t a part of your quarantine bubbles. Go even further than 6 feet apart when possible, and wear a face mask if you’re hanging around individuals who you haven’t seen. Improve ventilation by keeping all windows open and use devices like air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and fans to keep the air circulating between the indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Group activities in general should always be outside, and every individual should be wearing a mask unless a proper physical distance between everyone is possible. Facial coverings are the biggest and most effective solution to curbing the spread of this virus as we’ve seen evidence of all around the world. 

It’s also important to ensure you’re wearing the right type of facial covering and wearing it correctly. Fabric masks should be thick enough that when you hold it up to the sun you can’t see the light shine through it. Most disposable masks available at your local drug store or gas station are effective as long as you’re getting rid of them after each use. Finally, make sure your mask is completely covering your nose, and if you’re going out with your kids, make sure they also have a mask. Many individuals have become more relaxed when it comes to their children wearing masks because it’s less likely that a young child/toddler will contract the virus, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t still bring it into your home and infect others, so keep everyone in your house safe and mask up.

Regardless of the proven science, we all know that the Covid-19 virus spreads easily and quickly when given the opportunity. Wearing a mask at all times when in a public space, maintaining a distance of at LEAST six feet from individuals not in your quarantine bubble, and remaining outdoors for any and all group activities will help keep this virus at bay, and your loved ones healthy.