Helping Friends and Family Members Avoid Unnecessary Risks During an Active Pandemic

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone whose life hasn’t been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For over a year, the threat presented by said virus has dictated the way many of us go about our daily routines. From working to running errands to interacting with others, the novel coronavirus has influenced virtually everything we do. Fortunately, thanks to the wide availability of vaccines in the U.S., daily life has resumed some degree of normalcy. Still, it’s important to realize that we’re still in the middle of an active pandemic. With over one third of the country still not vaccinated, it’s imperative that we continue to make smart choices – and encourage others to do the same.

Set a Good Example

Unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from getting vaccinated, you have no excuse to avoid getting one of the readily available COVID-19 vaccines. The sooner the vast majority of Americans get vaccinated, the sooner a true return to normalcy can take place. So, if you have any friends or family members who are currently on the fence about getting vaccinated, you owe it to them – and yourself – to set a good example and step up to the plate. In addition to helping keep you safe from COVID-19 and its growing number of variants, getting vaccinated make you less likely to spread the novel coronavirus if you contract it. At the end of the day, if you want to encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated, you’ll need to lead by example.

Steer People Away from Misinformation

Misinformation has been a widespread problem throughout every phase of this pandemic. Certain public figures, news outlets and media personalities have downplayed the threat presented by COVID-19 and have actively encouraged members of the public to avoid getting a free, easily accessible and highly effective vaccine. As this pandemic has illustrated, some of us are far more susceptible to disinformation than others. While some people are able to instantly identify bad-faith arguments, conspiracy theories and other weaponized dishonesty, others won’t hesitate to completely buy into it. In many cases, this is because certain pieces of misinformation fit in with what they want to believe or support opinions they already held.

So, if people you care about have been failing to protect themselves and others against COVID-19, attempt to steer them away from the misinformation that pollutes popular social media platforms and news outlets. Instead, direct them to the websites of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Furthermore, advise them to consult licensed medical professionals if they have any questions or concerns about vaccination.

Run Errands for Immunocompromised Individuals

If you have any friends or family members suffering from compromised immunity, do everything in your power to make their lives easier during this troubled time. Although the past year has been a scary time for all of us, it’s been particularly frightening for people whose bodies are ill-equipped to fight off sickness. In the interest of lending a helping hand to elderly and/or immunocompromised individuals, volunteer to do their grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions and run other essential errands for them until such time as they’re able to safely do so themselves.

Encourage Virtual Appointments

Visiting a medical facility during an active pandemic can pose a significant risk to people with compromised immunity. If you or someone you care about is hesitant to visit their doctor in-person, consider looking into remote options. Because of the safety risks created by the novel coronavirus, many medical and mental health professionals have begun providing remote appointments and consultations for patients. So, if you’ve been searching for a virtual doctor, you’re likely to find a plethora of convenient options at your fingertips.

The last year has been among the stressful periods in the lives of countless individuals. Among many other things, the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to preventable death, sickness and a plethora of mental health issues. Although the wide availability of vaccines in the U.S. is undeniably a good thing, it isn’t quite time for us to let our guard down – particularly those of us with friends and family members suffering from compromised immunity or vulnerability to dangerous misinformation.

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