It’s crazy to think that we are going into the second year of the pandemic. Everyone is experiencing varying levels of grief, trauma, and anxiety. It’s hard to know what to expect with the next stage of the pandemic. Dr. Fauci predicts that if 70 to 85 percent of people get the vaccine, the U.S. will have herd immunity, in which enough people are inoculated that the virus will no longer spread, by the Fall. Fauci also remains confident that a vaccine will be available to most Americans by April.
Ways to cope and be prepared
What are some ways to cope with these times of uncertainty? It can help to think positive, note things you’re grateful for, help others, and take some time for self-care. If you take medications for illnesses or mental health, be sure to remain on your medicines and don’t change your routine without speaking to your doctor. Make sure to have a one-month supply of your medications on hand so that you’re prepared.
Other tips for coping during a crisis or disaster include:
- Eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
- Talk with others if you need help, and reach out to others in need.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and take a break from what you’re doing. Close your eyes and breathe.
- Only tune in to reliable news sources, and only for specified short periods of time each day.
COVID-19 vaccine stages
Here’s an outline of the phases of the vaccine. Each state is in charge of administering its own vaccine schedule, so check with your state for more information. In addition, check with your city for information about any current shelter in place and masking regulations.
- Phase 1b (January – 49 million people): Americans 75 and older, and frontline workers such as teachers, daycare workers, emergency responders, police officers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit workers, firefighters, prison officers, and grocery store workers.
- Phase 1c (February – 129 million people): Americans 65 and older, those with serious underlying medical conditions, and frontline workers such as those in waste, construction, trucking, and food service.
- Phase 2: People with underlying health conditions, workers and residents of homeless shelters, group homes, and prisons.
- Phase 3: Young adults and children, workers in second-tier industries including financial services, higher education, and travel.
- Phase 4: All other U.S. residents
Both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine require two doses. CNN reports, “In tests, Moderna’s was 94.1% efficient two weeks after the second dose. Pfizer’s was 95% efficient seven days or more after the second dose.” Keep in mind that people must continue to wear a mask and social distance even after they have had the vaccine until enough people have taken it to develop herd immunity.
How to reach out for help
The current state of our world and our country would be difficult for anyone to handle. It’s important to know that you can reach out for help when you need it. If you need help, call these numbers. Don’t be afraid to reach out in times of need.