I almost made it two years without COVID-19...
Well, I almost made it for two years, but I won the COVID lottery today (January 5th). I had tested negative yesterday morning, got some nasal congestion and muscle aches during the day, and this AM I tested positive on a rapid antigen test.
I spent today rescheduling upcoming patient appointments and surgery, and contacting the families who were in my office yesterday. Since I wear a high grade mask, and the visits are relatively short, it’s not a big exposure. But in addition to regular state reporting, it’s good to let people know even if quarantine isn't necessary (many of my patients are under 5 and unvaccinated).
I'm isolating at home, but I'm happy to take care of my practice as best as I can remotely (I still haven't figured out how to clean out earwax using my VR goggles!). I'm staying alone in the bedroom. My wife, daughter and I are all masking as long as they remain negative on testing.
Even though my booster was four months ago, I suspect that it will keep me safe from severe disease. Right now, I just feel like I have a typical winter cold. Israel has started giving a 4th shot to health care workers and people over 60. I guess this infection is my 4th dose for the time being, but I'll be first in line if they offer that here...
There are a number of guidelines for ending isolation from different organizations, and they can be complex and contradictory. What I'm going to do is to start testing myself again after day 5, and I'll stay away from patients for 10 days or until I test negative and am asymptomatic. Of course, as always, a well-fitting high-grade mask (N95, KN95 or KF94) is important, especially for anyone who may still be shedding any degree of an infectious virus.
I have spent this time telling you all to #stopthespread, and I feel badly that this happened. But I'm doing my best to continue to #stopthespread! Unfortunately, Omicron is a monster in terms of transmission - it's incredibly contagious. Most of you probably have had it or know someone who has.
- If you aren’t vaxxed, get vaxxed
- If you are vaxxed and more than 5 months out from your second shot but not boosted, get boosted
- Upgrade your mask to a high grade, well fitting mask
- Wear it whenever you are indoors in public (no eating inside restaurants right now)
- Make sure your offices and schools are doing their best to improve ventilation - that makes a big difference
- Test if you have any concerns, so that you can isolate early. My office is still open, and we can do testing outside if necessary even if I'm not there.
- The early data from South Africa show a rapid surge and a relatively quick dropoff, so hopefully this wave will be behind us soon.
Health and happiness to you all!