“So the pandemic’s over, right?”

With the relaxation in the rules of mask-wearing and self-isolation it is easy to think that the pandemic must be over, that the virus has lost its virulence and that we are all safe and free again.

Except that’d be wrong.

The virus is as infective as it has always been, and there are strong indicators to point to new variants coming our way in the coming months. Travel has opened up and rules have been relaxed…it would seem inevitable that recent history will repeat itself and that we have another ‘wave’.

Vaccines have made a big difference, no doubt, but the sick, the immunocompromised, the elderly, the un- or partially-vaccinated members of our society are still at real risk. The Medical Centre has many vulnerable patients coming through its doors every day and that is why we will continue to wear masks and insist on patients wearing masks also. A simple measure that may protect others.

COVID is not the ‘flu. It annoys us to hear this. Yes, both are respiratory viruses, both are infectious, both can cause similar symptoms. That’s where the similarities end. We have lived with the ‘flu for many many years and we know a great deal about it and about it’s complications. We do not know that much yet about COVID. For instance, disturbing evidence of increases in dementia have been recently appearing in papers, and ‘long COVID’ cases litter the medical press. Ongoing multi-system complications occur far more frequently than with any ‘flu.

So we make no apology in repeating the same old message…make sure your vaccination status is up-to-date, and consider simple measures to prevent spread of all respiratory viruses. We have more vaccines available and we are continuing to vaccinate on a daily basis. Ring for an appointment.