One lesson that 2021 taught the world is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is no rush to evaporate. Hopes of COVID-19 disappearing with the advent of vaccines and treatments such as monoclonal antibodies in 2021 were dashed with new variants and surges of virus cases and hospitalizations.
Moving into 2022, here are six key facts you should know about COVID-19.
Common post-COVID conditions
Symptoms of COVID-19 can last weeks or months after the first signs of infection. Some who suffer post-COVID sleep problems have found relief by using a sleeping chair, which can help open up airways and reduce pressure on the chest.
A sleeping chair can make sleeping and breathing easier for those with lingering COVID symptoms. Long-COVID symptoms can include difficulty breathing, fatigue, brain fog, and sleeping problems. We’re still beginning to understand what long-COVID fully entails, but assistive technology is there to help sufferers gain relief in the meantime.
Vaccinations can keep you out of the hospital
COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have given millions protection from a severe illness from COVID-19 and its variants.
Breakthrough infections can occur, but those who have had two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson are far less likely to contract COVID-19 or need hospitalization after infection.
Face mask guidance is changing
The more contagious Omicron variant has prompted changes in face mask guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC now recommends wearing masks of at least two layers of fabric that fit snugly against the face. Nose wires can provide a more secure fit.
The CDC recommends wearing a face mask for unvaccinated people ages two and older when at indoor public places or close contact with others away from home.
Booster shots add extra protection
Antibodies drop several months after vaccination against COVID-19. To keep protection levels high, the CDC recommends a booster six months after receiving the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and two months after receiving a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
While not included in vaccine mandates now, booster shots could be required later. Moving into 2022, the definition of “fully vaccinated” may be changed to include getting a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as new variants arise.
Hand hygiene is still important
Washing hands thoroughly for twenty seconds was advice from the pandemic’s early stages, but it still holds.
Keep hands away from frequently touched surfaces and wash them with soap and warm water. When away from soap and a sink, use hand sanitizer. Keeping hands clean will also prevent infections such as influenza and the common cold.
Travel tangles will still happen
In 2021, travel rebounded with more trips to reunite with family or enjoy a new location after that time at home in 2020’s lockdowns.
However, COVID-19 still managed to snarl some travel options. In December 2021, wintry weather and the Omicron variant caused thousands of flights to be canceled. After crew members and passengers tested positive, cruises had problems docking at some destinations.
As the year 2022 draws closer, it’s essential to keep safe and know as much as possible about the COVID-19 pandemic and trends. Information on the pandemic changes frequently, so keep updated using credible news sources and information.