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Opinion: How can you prepare for the following Covid-19 variant

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Colorado now has Omicron gone, but there is still time for normalcy. This allows us to learn from previous waves and prepare for the next wave.

Stephen Berman, M.D.

As the Omicron surge reaches its peak, Colorado’s number of people still susceptible to the virus decreases rapidly. Our communities are returning to normal.

A new Omicron subvariant, which appears to overcome the preexisting immunity to Omicron partially, is expected to increase Colorado’s infection rate in the next few weeks. These infections are unlikely to cause hospitalizations or deaths.

According to Dr. Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Seattle), the Omicron wave will infect approximately 50% of the world’s population before March ends. Murray believes that SARS CoV-2 could become an endemic disease and have an impact similar to influenza in a lousy season.

As we move into the Omicron recovery phase of Colorado, it’s time for a thorough analytical review. This is called a “hot washer” and identifies what we did right, wrong and what needs to be done to prepare for new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The Omicron wave saw the United States suffer the most cumulative deaths of wealthy countries. Covid-19 is not only dangerous for our mental and physical health but also threatens our economy and our livelihoods.

The pandemic has revealed deep divisions in terms of health equity and access to vaccines, medication, and medical care. Other deep divisions in society are also exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic. These include beliefs and values related to individual freedoms versus community responsibility and respect for evidence and scientific thinking.

Due to Congress’s reluctance to authorize additional Covid-19 funding, there will be many areas that this analysis will likely highlight as crucial for strengthening our preparedness and capacity to respond to and cope with the unexpected.

First, improve our surveillance systems to detect new SARS CoV-2 variants. Monitoring methods must be updated from passive to active modes that target vulnerable and high-risk groups in real-time. To quickly identify the variants of concern, we need to use genetic sequencing for a reasonable number of SARS CoV-2 infection cases.

Active multidimensional surveillance systems should include regular PCR testing, wastewater monitoring, and disease monitoring at congregant educational or work locations, such as schools, colleges, universities, high-risk jobs like police officers and first responders, and work locations such as meatpacking plants.

Both the State and Colorado Department of Public Health has done outstanding work in this field while acknowledging the limitations of our county-based public healthcare system. To access federal funds and mobilize financial and logistic resources of the state, local private foundations, private diagnostic laboratories, and our research universities, a community-wide consortium is needed.

The second is to strengthen our public-health capability to test quickly and conduct contact tracing as soon as more dangerous SARS CoV-2 variants become available and before widespread community transmission. Again, this will require a collaborative approach that goes beyond what the health department can do.

We will also need adequate monitoring and quality control measures at the county level to ensure quality testing.

The third step is to establish a plan that includes all critical players in the financing, acquiring, and distributing of supplies, vaccines, and medication. Our complex healthcare delivery system includes hospitals, clinics, private physicians’ offices, urgent-care centers, and state and county health departments. These entities must be coordinated and, where possible, integrated into one seamless system that can respond quickly and fairly.

Fourth, create a working group that includes key government and community officials to monitor and assist the federal-state response and ensure it is fair in terms of race, income, vulnerability, and ethnicity. Many Coloradoans, particularly the elderly, could not get monoclonal antibody therapy or were denied vaccinations.

It is essential to engage the community to create communication methods and messaging that reach community that is skeptical of our traditional healthcare system or our government. It is crucial to have a strategy for communicating with immigrants and families who are not English speakers to decrease community transmission.

It is now that we need to improve our preparedness. Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Failing to plan means planning to fail.”

Stephen Berman is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado and the Center for Global Health director in the Colorado School of Public Health.

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Is Radiant Skin Beyond Reach?

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Is a flawless, luminous complexion genuinely attainable, or merely a mirage tantalizingly out of reach? The conversation around skincare often encircles a predictable whirlwind of standard tips – drink more water, get plenty of sleep, and protect against sun damage. While these conventional elements set a foundation for skin health, peeling back the layers reveals several surprising strategies that might have been lurking quietly in the shadows. We’ll expose these shadowy secrets of skincare, journeying beyond the obvious to explore uncharted territories where radiant skin becomes a tangible reality. Embark on a narrative where your skin’s well-being is intertwined with unexpected facets of your lifestyle and habits.

The Silk Route to Silky Skin

Perchance, we often neglect the very thing we lay our bodies to rest upon every night: our bedding. Considering we spend approximately a third of our lives in bed, it’s rather unexpected that the fabric beneath our slumbering forms is seldom part of the skin health discussion. Dive deep into the threads of your bed linen; your skin might just be whispering its needs through the nocturnal hours.

skin

skin

Silk, renowned for its smooth, lavish texture, doesn’t merely lavish its gentle caress upon our bodies without purpose. It’s hypoallergenic and a natural temperature regulator – two under-heralded but vital components for maintaining a harmonious environment where our skin can truly rest. Unlike cotton and other materials, silk doesn’t absorb moisture from the skin. Therefore, all the nourishing night creams remain where they should: hydrating and repairing your skin, not your pillowcase. Furthermore, silk’s smooth surface reduces the friction between the skin and the pillow, diminishing the probability of developing sleep lines and wrinkles.

Retinol, A Silent Guardian

Using retinol serums might be somewhat familiar to skincare enthusiasts, but understanding the depth of its work is a journey seldom traveled. Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, has long been lauded for its anti-aging and acne-fighting abilities. However, its capacity to improve skin goes far beyond reducing wrinkles and battling blemishes. It silently propels the skin’s renewal process, expediting cell turnover and helping to regenerate damaged cells. A consistent retinol regimen doesn’t just combat visible issues; it rebuilds a fortress of health beneath the surface, safeguarding your skin against future disruptions.

The Untapped Power of Posture

Your posture, seemingly unrelated to skincare, wields an unexpected influence over your skin’s health. Consistent poor posture threatens spinal health and restricts blood flow, thus limiting nutrient delivery to the skin. Good posture optimizes circulation, ensuring your skin receives the essential nutrients. Paying attention to how you sit and stand conveys confidence and covertly supports your skin’s nutrient absorption and general vitality.

Sobriety, An Unexpected Elixir of Youth

Surprisingly to some, substance abuse bears a direct, damaging relationship with skin health. It’s not merely the physical implications like premature aging, dryness, or acne but also the deficiency in nutrients often seen in those battling addiction. Most people find the best results when they leave their hometown and travel to a wellness facility, which gets them away from daily stressors and triggers. Whether opting for a drug rehab in Orange County, California, or an inpatient center in Honolulu, investing in your sobriety is investing in your skin health and overall health, offering a clear path to a revitalized complexion.

The Whispering Winds of Change

Delve into an uncommonly acknowledged factor impacting your skin: air quality. The air that encases you, indoors and out, quietly whispers either life or detriment to your skin. While the discussion often hovers around sunscreen and avoiding excessive sun exposure, we must also consider protecting our skin from pollution, dust, and varying qualities of indoor air. Ensuring your living and working spaces are well-ventilated and utilizing air purifiers can subtly yet significantly influence your skin’s well-being, allowing it to breathe and thrive amidst cleaner surroundings.

Unveiling The Steamy Secret: Saunas

Saunas, often synonymous with luxury and relaxation, have another secret in their steamy embrace: the power to significantly enhance your skin health. Saunas benefit the skin by encouraging robust circulation and aiding the body’s natural detoxification through sweating. This helps purge the skin of toxins and promotes cellular renewal, hydrating the skin from within and crafting a natural, healthy glow. Regular sauna sessions become an unassuming ally in maintaining skin vitality and youthfulness.

Navigating the nuanced labyrinth of skin health exposes unexpected allies and hidden foes. Integrating varied approaches, from selecting gentle bed linens to embracing sobriety and harnessing the subtle power of posture, amalgamates into a thorough, holistic approach to skincare. The journey to radiant skin isn’t merely a topical affair; it’s deeply interwoven with our lifestyles, habits, and the surprising elements around us, crafting a pathway that’s as complex and rich as the skin we seek to nurture.

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