Cases are going down—but this doesn’t mean you should let your guard down, too
Looking at 2022 so far, the signs of pandemic recovery appear promising. Daily cases are down, the dominant strain Omicron is less severe (though not to be confused with “mild”), and the steady rollout of vaccines has made sure that more and more Filipinos are protected. The shift to Alert Level 1 in NCR and other areas also reflects these early signs of recovery, which means it only gets easier from here to let those guards down.
Here’s your friendly reminder, though, that it isn’t safe to do so yet. It’s just as important today to follow health and safety protocols, and abide by certain rules in 2022. Ahead, we recap them for you.
Keep your mask on at all times
In the time of COVID-19, this is the key protective barrier that remains a non-negotiable—and that’s whether you’re vaccinated or not. Face masks should still be well-fitted, changed regularly and, most importantly, worn at all times.
Prioritize open-air spaces whenever out in public
It’s good to note the extra precautions you can take whenever heading out. Of the lot, making sure you stay in an open-air or well-ventilated area is key. Avoid places that are closed off (like indoor spaces with central air-conditioning) and that come with large crowds.
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
Even with easy alternatives such as hand-sanitizing gels and alcohol sprays, make it a point to wash your hands with soap and water frequently. As the CDC advises, this should be done “before eating or preparing food; before touching your face; after using the restroom; after leaving a public place; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; after handling your mask; after caring for someone sick; and after touching animals or pets.”
Maintain social distancing
Keeping a safe distance of six or more feet from other individuals is still one of the most effective ways to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission. Again, regardless of the vaccine status of the people with you or around you, it pays to consider these risk-reducing measures. Even at home, the CDC encourages people: “Avoid contact with people who are sick. If possible, maintain six feet between the person who is sick and other household members. If you are taking care of someone who is sick, make sure you properly wear a well-fitting mask and follow other steps to protect yourself.”
Quarantine after exposure
Luckily, those with the complete set of vaccines are no longer required to stay at home after exposure, not unless they develop symptoms. If this is the case, keep this timeline in mind: “The date of your exposure is considered day 0,” advised the CDC. “Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with a person who has had COVID-19. Stay home and away from other people for at least five days.” If in case you do exhibit symptoms, be sure to get tested.
Stay informed and stay alert during the rest of the pandemic. Be sure to only turn to credible sources for any of your COVID-19 or vaccine-related updates.