While St. Patrick’s Day holidays can pass, infections don’t have to be necessary. Here’s what you need to know before thinking about roasting green beer with strangers:
Most worrying is strain B.1.1.7, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine.
This variant was first detected in the United Kingdom, but has already spread to at least 48 states in the United States, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Some states have abandoned mask mandates, which could increase their spread
Despite warnings from health experts, some rulers have set aside their mask mandates.
Hotez, who lives in Houston, said abandoning a mask warrant in his state will have a ripple effect across the country.
“It’s going to accelerate Covid-19 nationally,” he said.
You cannot have a negative test result to be sure
If you plan to take the test (or ask your guests to take the test), you may end up with a false sense of security.
Young people are definitely not immune
But even young adults, so far healthy, have suffered long-term complications from Covid-19.
According to a CDC study, in a survey, 35% of Covid-19 survivors still had symptoms two to three weeks after testing.
Alcohol plus parties often equate to zero protection
Attempts to distance themselves and wear masks physically usually go out the party window where there is alcohol.
Not only does drinking make people take off their masks (if they wear any). Alcohol can bring people closer than usual, Hotez said.
“So this is not the time to have a superextension event for this UK variant,” Hotez said.
Pandemic fatigue is real, but totally defeatable
Not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the way you want it may seem like another disappointment after a year of sacrifices. But there will be many more chances to party after everyone gets vaccinated.
“The best thing that can be done right now is to avoid big trips unless you have been vaccinated or have been recently infected,” Hotez said. “Just try to keep the lid on as much as we can until we can vaccinate completely.”
Unfortunately, the vast majority of young people have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. But there is good news on the horizon:
– If enough people are vaccinated, it will probably be the last year of major Covid-19 outages.
– Current vaccines “work very well” against the worrying variant B.1.1.7, Hotez said.
– The faster we vaccinate and control Covid-19, the faster we can return to normal life.