The answer is safety & protection
At a 14-day average of 611 cases per day Philadelphia’s per capita COVID-19 cases are among the four lowest counties in the state, according to the authoritative New York Times daily report.
As of January 15, the case count in PA numbered over 750,000 with at least 18,750 deaths since the pandemic began. But nationwide, the current count is astounding: 1,715,000 cases in the past week.
These data support the need to continue faithful following of the advice of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to:
– WEAR A MASK: Wear a mask when in public or other at-risk situations. Make sure that mask covers both mouth and nose – except when eating or drinking. Strongly encourage others to wear masks.
– KEEP YOUR DISTANCE: Stay at least 6 feet away from all others, whether they are wearing masks or not (two full arm lengths).
– AVOID CROWDS: The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. Outdoors is safer than indoors, but their virus cloud can be projected by coughing or sneezing.
– PROTECT ELDERLY PEOPLE: Older people are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, especially those with other health conditions.
– GET VACCINATED: Vaccinations nationwide total 11.1 million out of more than 30.6 million doses distributed. The CDC says that about only 10 percent of the injections are in the most vulnerable segment of the population – nursing care residents and staff – where almost 40 percent of the cases and deaths have taken place.1
So far, side effects from vaccination have been the same in frequency and severity as annual flu shots. Muscle soreness, fatigue, headache, and occasional fever are the most frequent according to International Vaccine Access Center William Moss, MD. “When they do occur, They usually go away in 24-48 hours.”
It is important to determine one’s classification for vaccination as the availability expands. President-Elect Biden’s target for injections is 100 million citizens in his first 100 days from January 20. It is important to identify injection locations that are convenient to where one lives or works once each person is eligible.
In PA, some 410,000 vaccinations have taken place out of more than 1 million doses distributed. Only 56,000 residents have received the recommended second dose.
The most dangerous component of the crisis continues to be in nursing care facilities, with PA recording the second-highest level of cases in the country, according to the Atlantic magazine. As of December 3 (the most recent tabulation, there were over 5000 cases reported in nursing homes or an astounding 30 percent of long-term residents living there.
Atlantic estimates that one elderly person in five living in nursing care homes has contracted COVID-19.
One positive sign for residents at risk is that hospitals in Philadelphia have plenty of space for new patients who fall sick with the virus.
Less than 20 percent of total beds and beds in intensive care units (ICUs) are currently in use.