So why did I wait 7 months before writing this post. I am glad you asked!
There is so much information flying around out there that it is really hard to tell what is true and what is not and what information could do harm and what could do good. I am not a doctor and this is not intended to be medical advice. There are a lot of really good information sources out there if you look for them.
I started to think about illness prevention in the same way that I used to think about crime prevention. It is easy to know how many crimes there are or how many sick people there are because we can count them with some degree of accuracy. It is a lot harder to count those people who we were able to prevent becoming a crime victim or getting sick.
There is a crime triangle…suspect, victim, location were the sides. A similar illness triangle would be…infectious person, healthy person, location. Wherever the three meet you have potential for crime or illness. There were things that you could do to impact each side of the triangle. For example, self isolation of infectious people removes them from the equation. Similarly, many places have made substantial changes to their facilities and procedures to make contracting illness much less likely.
What can you do to protect yourself? One thing you can do is not go to places where you are likely to run across an infected person or where they are not taking steps to make that location safer. You can also do things that will boost your immune system. Exercise, get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and minimize stress and worry. I have been taking a lot of vitamins (C, D and Zinc) as well as some other supplements that are anti-inflammatory and will boost your immune system.
As far as masks go, I believe your wearing a mask mainly keeps you from spreading illness especially if you don’t know you are sick. The protection it provides you from others who are sick is far less. However, this benefit is cumulative and mainly works if we all wear masks especially when in public indoor locations, where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, and even when we feel healthy.
I am still a little nervous about any form of public transportation, but that is just me. I know a few people who have been flying and taking precautions and had no issues. Some are taking enormous risks and have just been lucky so far.
I have a feeling that a lot fewer people are going to suffer from colds and flus this season for the following reasons: the COVID precautions we are taking individually and at locations we frequent will help to prevent other illnesses as well and the reduced interaction with others due to COVID (working from home, self isolation) will mean fewer chances to contract other illnesses.