COVID-19 isn’t going away. The United States surpassed 8.3 million cases as of Oct. 21 and the country is averaging more than 40,000 new cases daily. Ten states recently saw record increases in new infections, and more than half are experiencing growing rates. Only three are seeing downturns. Beyond new infections, as of Oct. 12 there were two documented cases of reinfection in the United States, on top of more than 20 global cases of reinfection. Those in the U.S. were more severe than the original infections.
Spikes in communicable diseases occur in winter due to people interacting in closer quarters, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently warned us to prepare for a worsening of the pandemic in coming months with no real respite until late 2021. Even though a vaccine could be rolled out to frontline workers and those with high-risk conditions by the end of 2020, others should expect to wait until well into next year. Beyond the wait, the fast-tracking of vaccine development contributes to the chance that the initial offering may not be fully effective.
Furthermore, studies show the virus can survive on surfaces far longer than originally thought; so beyond mask-wearing, we aren’t done with hand-washing and other ways to optimize hygiene. Educating yourself and continuing to adapt everyday habits will be crucial as we move into a season that’s challenging for some even in the best of times.
Stacker compiled 30 ways to prepare for a COVID-19 winter, using data and reports from trusted media and health officials. Options range from the expected—masking up—to more-innovative—avoiding a sense of isolation via online language meetups, or creating a Zoom-friendly work-from-home space.
Read on to learn ways to survive and thrive throughout an unusual upcoming winter in terms of optimizing health, home, work, mental health, and social interactions.
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