The Covid-19 Delta Variant
A lot of information is circulating about the Covid-19 Delta Variant. It can be confusing and even frustrating to sift through what’s real. There are also a lot of feelings circulating around the pandemic in general and the constant changes we have experienced over the past year and a half. Because I am stressed about it myself, I figured it might help you if I share my thoughts and plans to manage this new variant, along with some of the facts I’ve learned. I would like to open conversations about this and keep learning from each other.
*A quick note: As a person who shares knowledge, I try to find the most accurate and up-to-date information before I share it, especially about the Covid-19 pandemic. If you find anything that is not factual in one of my posts, please reach out to me! I will remove it immediately because I do not ever want to spread false information. I am also happy to add important information that may be missing from the conversation. Thank you in advance!
As I write this on August 3rd, 2021, these are the facts I have been able to identify about this new strain of the virus.
- The “Delta variant is more contagious than the other virus strains” and we don’t know why yet.
- The symptoms of the Delta variant are the same as the initial Covid-19 virus. However, it is impacting people who are not vaccinated more severely than the initial virus.
- People who are fully vaccinated can transfer the Covid-19 Delta variant to others, despite being vaccinated.
- The CDC recommends masks indoors again, even for vaccinated people.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you can get and are recommended to get the vaccine. What is not clear is when exactly. Several articles say in the third trimester while some say as early as 13 weeks. I recommend talking to your healthcare provider to confirm what’s best for you and your baby.
- Pfizer recently stated that a third dose of their vaccine can effectively protect against the Delta variant. We are staying tuned for more updates on vaccines and the Delta variant as well as boosters.
- People who are not vaccinated experience more severe symptoms when infected with the Delta variant than people who are vaccinated.
- Young people are more susceptible to the Delta variant and are suffering worse outcomes.
- It’s not too late to get the vaccine and it’s still free. Visit vaccines.gov and you can type in your zip code to find the closest sites to you.
- Alongside vaccines, the best recommended measures against Covid-19 are still face masks and six-feet distance.
- New York City has declared that it will require “proof of at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine” for many indoor activities, making it the first U.S. city to do so. France and Italy have already made similar mandates.
Sources: UC Davis Health, Yale Medicine, New York Times, CDC, WHO
Tips From my Home
I shared some tips earlier in the pandemic in a previous blog post about being home, linked here. However, this post is more about tips to stay safe. (I did something similar during flu season when I was trying to keep my kids from infecting each other! If you need tips on managing little ones, check that out).
• Disposable Masks
I’m going to really to try transition from the reusable stylish masks to the single-use masks again. They are safer and cleaner, which means they protect better.
• Hand Sanitizer
I am placing a mini size bottle of Purell Hand Sanitizer in all of the cars and our bags. I also plan to put a regular sized bottle at both entrances of the house.
• Educating the Family
The pandemic is especially hard on kids. They’ve lost so much and overall they don’t really understand why. It’s confusing for adults so it’s extra confusing for the littles. I’m taking time to explain to Diari particularly because she just transitioned from virtual learning to in-person. I want her to know why she has to wear a mask and why she may have to return to virtual learning at some point. You can also use the opportunity to re-emphasize the importance of hand-washing and covering a cough.
• Communicating Contact
I realized how important it was during the height of the Covid pandemic last year for my husband and I to communicate about how much contact we had had with other people. If there is ever any concern about Covid interaction, we can talk about it early on.
If you are not comfortable with your kids attending school (for whatever reason, such as if you have someone who is immunocompromised living in your home), try asking the school if you can do virtual learning for them. My mom was living with us until recently. So we were extra cautious about keeping Covid out of the house pre-vaccine and even after the vaccine. If she hadn’t left recently, I would be considering what to do for our house as it relates to school.
Honestly? I’m worried. I’m scared and nervous. And whenever I talk to friends and family, I hear the same feelings in their voices. It’s important to feel those feelings. Yes, we all want to be positive, but we should also acknowledge that we have experience a universal, communal trauma and it’s not over. We have to recognize that every time our lives change, we are experiencing trauma. So I thought about a few things to keep in mind during this time.
- Feel the feelings. Acknowledge when you are scared or stressed about the Covid-19 pandemic. Do this especially for your kids and even your parents because as older and higher-risk individuals, they are often terrified. Let’s talk about it.
- Take Advantage of Therapy. I know this is starting to sound like a cliche but it’s not. It’s a valuable tool and there are more options now than ever for access purposes. The fact that we have successfully managed life in a virtual environment helps with therapy too. You can now video conference with a therapist right from your home. Here are some resources to be aware of: Talkspace, Therapy for Black Girls, BetterHelp.
- Keep up with the facts. News of the pandemic changes every day – including the status and the recommendations. It can help to stay up to date on the latest information so you know how to proceed. It’s a pandemic, it helps to prepare.
- Apply the lessons we learned last year. So much changed so quickly and we didn’t know how to adapt before. This pandemic is showing us that it’s not gone for good. But fortunately, we’ve been here and we know what to do. All of my tips from above came from what I wish I had known then. Now that we know, let’s do it.
I am wishing you and your family a healthy rest of the year. Stay safe <3