Home tests. N95 masks. The fight against COVID-19 has entered ’22 and we have once again seen a major uptick in COVID cases in Minnesota. Call it a surge, call it the latest variant, but it is here and many of our neighbors are getting infected.
Remember the beginning of the pandemic? We had very few cases but knew of the dangers so shut down much of our life outside our home – where many started working and remain. Neighbors started getting curbside pickup for groceries and takeout orders and continue either out of caution or convenience.
The mindset and the rules are different this time. The vaccine has given many people a sense of invincibility (or at least more confidence), and they are ok with going out more and expanding their bubble. But restrictions have increased over the past few months as the cases go up. Many taprooms, bars, restaurants, and larger events like weddings, plays, and concerts require proof of vaccination or a negative test.
What can you do to be safe but also see people and support your community?
Get vaccinated and stock up on effective masks and home kits. Thankfully you can do all of these at Lloyd’s Pharmacy –though home testing kits have been hard to get everywhere.
Continue to order takeout food from restaurants. January is a slower month for the hospitality industry, so even if you are concerned about public places, you can do curbside takeout or get to-go orders and never have to take off your mask in the brief time you’re inside.
If you’re concerned about being in a crowd, you may feel comfort in going to venues and businesses which require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. This trend has become more popular, and more establishments are requiring this upon entry.
Another thing to consider before heading out the door is the type of mask you’re wearing. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was known N95 masks were the best but also hard to find. They are now more prevalent and more evidence has come out that they are the best mask to wear in defense from the Omicron variant.
As we have seen during the pandemic, many at first tried hard to socially distance and have a very tight personal inner circle. But over time it became harder to do for many reasons, including the need and desire to be in direct contact with friends and family. While many are choosing to revert back to keeping a safer distance, we should all strive to find ways to keep ourselves mentally happy and support our community. The pandemic has shown us our resilience and creativity in finding ways to connect with others and shop.
Resolve this January to support our businesses and promote health.
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