The Union Democrat
To the Editor:
Good decisions require good information.
COVID infects people indoors. Outdoors, sunlight kills it and wind blows it away. Indoors, COVID floats in the air. A wellfitted N95 mask will catch 98% of airborne virus. Without a mask, you'll catch COVID delta from an infected person in 10 minutes. Omicron's much faster. HEPA air-filters take out the virus. They're cheap and available. Make your indoor air more like outdoor air with anti-allergy furnace filters and portable, HEPA, air purifiers.
Delta and omicron hit very fast. Vaccines and serious COVID cases create lots of antibodies. Abundant antibodies give your immune system a head start. You'll get a mild case or no case, at all. Mild COVID cases create very few antibodies. COVID gets the head start, and you'll get sick.
Antibodies are proteins that degrade over time. Also, antibodies for delta are less effective against omicron. If you were sick or vaccinated more than six months ago, your antibody level is too low. You're at risk. Get a booster or get sick. Your memory T-cells will kick in, but you might suffer internal damage to your lungs or other organs while you're sick.
People over 60 or with compromised immune systems have 2-3 times more risk. People under 30 have a quarter of the personal risk, but can infect their friends and family, and risk getting long-haul COVID. If you work indoors, with lots of contact with people, your risk is high. Well-fitted N95 masks will protect you.
Last year, we had nothing: no vaccine, no treatment, and limited access to quality masks.
Now, we have good tools to fight COVID: masks with N95 layers, HEPA air purifiers, vaccines, boosters, and treatment for delta with monoclonal antibodies. COVID can be serious and result in death or long-term disability. Protect yourself. Consider your decisions carefully. Marvin Keshner