Pandemic Thinking – July 11, 2022

As we are approaching the start of the 2022-2023 school year, international schools around the world are thinking about what pandemic protocols they will put in place. I would like to move to treat COVID-19 cases like we do influenza or other infectious diseases. The only roadblock in my mind is the length of infectiousness of people with COVID. With the flu, most public health agencies recommend isolating 5 days, but with COVID, days 6-10, people are often still contagious, even without symptoms. The amount of time students and teachers have been outside of school has been detrimental to learning (Covid Learning Loss Has Been a Global Disaster). Our school has had close to 300 members officially report their infection with COVID and not one has been hospitalized. How do schools move forward in the 2022-2023 school year balancing

This week’s Washington Post Coronavirus Updates is full of good information. The CDC reports that very few children under 5 years of age are getting vaccinated against COVID which indicates that parents are not enthusiastic about protecting their children, probably because young children usually exhibit mild symptoms. I also read with interest the advice about booster vaccines. Most authorities recommend everyone get at least 1 booster shot after their initial full vaccine dosage. They also go on to say that getting a second booster is OK. They do not recommend getting a booster every 4-6 months until more research is done.

Some U.S. officials have signaled that more people should have access to another booster. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top-infectious disease expert, said he’s “leaning toward flexibility” for adults younger than 50 who got their last booster many months ago, and whose immunity is waning.

Washington Post Coronavirus Update – July 8, 2022

My personal takeaway is to wait to get a third booster shot. I received my last booster in December 2021, but I will wait for the cold/flu season this winter. I think health officials will have a better understanding of the effects of multiple boosters and what strains are circulating at that time.

Sky News Photo of Wuhan Institute of Virology

All of us have pandemic fatigue after more than two years. This Washington Post opinion piece from July 7 discusses the latest subvariant of Omicron (BA.5). I am also surprised that more experts are not pressuring governments around the world to find out the source of the outbreak. I think learning how this novel strain of the coronavirus developed into a worldwide pandemic will help avoid future global pandemics.

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