July 20, 2022

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

General Health

Although there are many different measures in place to protect us from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, the fight is not over yet. Viruses are constantly changing or mutating their genes, which can result in new variants of the same virus. Some variants spread more quickly than others, leading to an increase in cases of the disease. Certain variants may lead to less severe disease in the general public, while others may lead to an increase in hospitalizations and even death. Even if somebody was previously infected and recovered from COVID-19, it still remains possible for this same person to become re-infected with a new variant of the virus.

The COVID-19 virus and the influenza (flu) virus are thought to be spread in similar ways from person to person through small particles that are released when the infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. These viruses can then be spread when a non-infected individual unintentionally inhales these particles. Even before somebody begins showing symptoms, the virus can be spread onto others, resulting in continual spreading of the disease. Because the flu virus changes so often, it is recommended that you receive a new flu vaccine each year. As with the flu virus, more and more variants of the COVID-19 virus are beginning to emerge.

Luckily, there are many different routes that we can take to try and prevent severe disease from the COVID-19 virus and slow the spreading. Washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently, staying home when you feel sick, wearing a properly fitted mask at large indoor/outdoor gatherings, and getting vaccinated are only some of the many techniques that we have in place to fight the virus. The COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalizations from COVID-19, although they do not completely minimize the risk of contracting the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages everyone who is eligible to receive their COVID-19 primary series and boosters for this very reason. It is recommended for everyone six months and older to receive the primary COVID-19 series. After completing the primary series, everyone ages five and older should receive one booster. As of recent, a second booster is recommended for all adults 50 years and older or for people 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

If you are unsure if you should receive a COVID-19 booster, the CDC created a super easy tool to help determine who is eligible for a booster. Currently, only about 34% of people ages five and older have received their COVID-19 booster, according to the CDC.


As more and more new variants continue to emerge, it is important that we, as a community, continue to try and reduce infections through these measures. Decreasing the number of infections can then decrease the chance of the virus continuing to mutate. Although many think that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the virus is not done mutating yet.