COVID Consequences Part III: Questions From Our Subscribers During This Fourth COVID Wave


Editor’s Note:  To date, we have not centered any articles around comments or letters received from our customers/subscribers.  We receive a lot of feedback on Sundays compared to the rest of the week and we felt compelled to respond to this particular letter sent to us via snail mail. We are keeping the name and address anonymous for privacy concerns.

 

Dear Le Snuggle:

As an avid reader, I have been super safe, got my vaccinations and now, back to being scared about returning to work. I’m not handling this well. I don’t know how careful or laid back my coworkers are and, I don’t know how clean they are at their own homes. I am making myself sick worrying about these things.

I COMPLETELY understand your fear, and you are not alone. Many people have been off of work and are now returning in a changed world. There are a few things you can do to ease some of this stress:

  • Most employers have implemented stringent mitigation measures in the workplace. Ask for particulars and be prepared to follow all measures. Further, create your own COVID kit. This should include anti-bacterial wipes, gloves, hand sanitizer and masks. Always have an extra mask or two in case you feel you need to change out masks during the day.
  • Several friends and subscribers have told me that they do not bring their personal purses or keys into the workplace. They use their COVID kit to also hold personal items in zippered bags, eliminating your items from carrying bacteria and germs back and forth.
  • Try to avoid sharing your phone or office supplies with other employees.
  • Wipe down your surfaces often including your office phone.
  • When returning home from work, leave your shoes outside and sanitize them AND your COVID kit in preparation for your following work day.
  • Immediately change clothes and shower/bathe when you return home from work. 

    If your anxiety continues to escalate, you may want to seek the advice of a counselor to help you handle this transition back to work.

    My husband is unvaccinated, working full time, and is out eating in restaurants daily for lunch with no mask. I am fully vaccinated. My husband wants sex frequently. I just do not feel comfortable. Even though I live in a region that is highly vaccinated, the cases are rising due to the Delta variant. I think he should try to protect me more!

    It would be easy for any rational discussion about this subject to escalate into a full blown argument. Please try to approach this conversation with open communication lines, facts (based on science), and complete and total honesty.

    Discussions should include things you can both do to control your environment and make things as normal as possible. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Ask your husband if he would be willing to bring his lunch to work, limiting his exposure in crowded restaurants. You can offer to facilitate that for him by preparing a little extra food with each meal.
    • Ask your husband to follow masking, social distancing and, workspace cleaning while at work.
    • If your husband drives to work, ask him to avoid having passengers ride with him.
    • Try to explain rationally that if he was fully vaccinated, you would feel safer and more excited about sex and being close. In fact, since the government is incentivizing people to get vaccinated, you might try the same albeit in a different way. Come up with something sexual you know your husband loves and give him the proper incentive so that it can happen. Sooner rather than later.

    What you and your husband are experiencing is causing anger, loss of intimacy and a disconnect. You both need to preserve your relationship during these terrible times. Be sure to explain how your life would be impacted if he were to get sick. Further discuss a plan of action should either of you get sick. While your chances are better than his, you could still contract the virus and have a rebound infection. Either with or without symptoms.

    If you feel you should have sex, you can consider using protection or wearing a mask. Some inventive people are even having sex around a door!

    Keeping your environment sanitized (clean sheets, showers, tubs, etc.) may give you some small measure of safety.

    There is no doubt these are scary times. Try hard to work with your spouse so that both of you can end up on the same page. Just remember to be respectful to each other even if you disagree.

    Having had to write about COVID for close to two years, we understand your frustration. We simply cannot stop providing as much information as possible to our subscribers about COVID and its affect on every aspect of our daily lifestyles. I can attest that immersion to this extent exacts a price. I struggle daily to not be judgmental or angry to people that refuse to follow the science and get vaccinated. All you can do is protect you and your loved ones by following every mitigation measure available to us at this point in time. Work on creative ways to make this phase of the pandemic less stressful for you and your family. Every little thing you do makes an impact. 

    My wife and I are both vaccinated. We have been for some time. I feel more comfortable than my wife trying to return to normality. I want to take a romantic trip, but my wife just does not want to travel. What could I do to convince her?

    My husband and I were in the exact same situation. He did a few things to help me feel a little more comfortable:

    • We drove instead of flying.
    • I packed a COVID kit for any rest area stops along the way, and changed masks after every public restroom we entered.
    • My husband chose a less crowded beach, with lower numbers of cases.
    • Rather than a high rise with elevators, he found a smaller, more private option.
    • Although the place looked spotless when we arrived, we re-sanitized the condo, including removing the bedspread and using our own blankets.
    • He also chose a condo with a washer and dryer so that we could wash the sheets before use.
    • Consider cooking and freezing food in advance rather than going out for meals.

    Even though my husband felt I was being extreme, he still went above and beyond to make things less scary and stressful, which I will never forget. We were able to have an amazing time, bringing us even closer. You can make the perfect plan with a little homework. Easing back into activities safely removed some of the roadblocks I was putting up to avoid traveling.

    I had COVID in February of 2021. It was awful, and I would not wish this on anyone! I am still experiencing fatigue, tooth pain and what I now believe the experts call long haul symptoms. I work from home and have always had the discipline to do what I need to, but I feel like a slug. Worse than that, I missed a major deadline for the first time in my career. I feel that my boss has lost all faith in me. I cannot sleep, work or function normally. I think I may need help.

    Thank you for reaching out. Realizing you may have a problem such as depression or anxiety is the first step to learning how to reset and cope with all that is happening around you.

    Just so you know you are not alone, Healthline reported that “nearly 20 percent of COVID—19 patients developed a mental health issue, like depression, anxiety or dementia-within 3 months of diagnosis, according to a new study.”

    There is a lot of scientific evidence to support the fact that this pandemic has caused increased mental health issues among adults, teens and children. We simply have never experienced the rapid changes we have had to cope with! Not all of us are handling these changes well. Healthline further reported that your risk was doubled compared to people who didn’t have COVID-19.

    So, what are you doing to help yourself try to feel better and return to the way of life you are accustomed to? 

    • Maintaining a structured schedule is very important. Each day, establish a routine of getting dressed and preparing for work as if you were going to the office.
    • Plan a lunch hour recharge away from your desk. Take a walk. Eat outside. Plan a call with a friend in advance and eat lunch together over the phone.
    • If you have no one to talk to about these issues, please schedule a telehealth visit. They will discuss your long haul symptoms, as well as your symptoms of depression and anxiety. They may determine that you need a second referral for additional assistance in navigating your issues.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have an article on their website entitled “Coping with Stress.” This article not only outlines many of the symptoms you are describing, they offer healthy ways to cope with stress. You can view those ways here.

    As far as your teeth are concerned, please contact your dentist immediately. You may have an additional complication from having had COVID that you have not had diagnosed. Your dentist’s office has all precautionary measures in place to treat and protect you. We are attaching the link to an article we published on COVID teeth for your review here.

    As far as missing your deadline and disappointing your boss, schedule a private meeting AFTER you take positive steps forward to get back to your old self. An apology from a valued employee goes a long way. Especially, if they did not know you were having difficulties.

    You have to reach out and be willing to accept help. It is out there. You are not alone!

    If you need to talk to someone, the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit their website here.

    This is a two part question:

    If I get COVID and had my vaccinations, what can they do for me?Will they mandate COVID vaccinations for the unvaccinated, and do exemptions for the anti-vaxxers still apply?
    If you receive a positive test and are over 65, you may be eligible for monoclonal antibodies through an infusion ordered by your treating physician. This treatment must be done early (within 96 hours of exposure). It may reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization if you are considered high risk.
    If you would like to know more, you can watch the video below:
    Video not loading? Click here to see the full video.
    As far as your second question: Mandates are already being imposed throughout the world for healthcare workers, citizens, etc. in some countries.
    As far as the United States, there have been some mandates imposed thus far due to the fourth surge. We believe as soon as final approval occurs for the vaccines in use (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J), you will definitely see more mandates and stringent testing requirements imposed. Already, tougher restrictions are being imposed on the unvaccinated such as frequent testing, social distancing and indoor masking.
    To address the anti-vaxxers, I would imagine that many parents are changing their minds about having their kids vaccinated. They are shouting from the rooftops but it is falling on deaf ears. The science is sound. The protection from vaccines is proven. The fact that large numbers of children are now getting sick from COVID should be a wake-up call. I think the anti-vaxxers that obtained previous exemptions will be under heavy scrutiny very soon. Below are links to previous articles about anti-vaxxers. It is a hot button subject.
    Their arguments do not hold water at this point in light of the current pandemic and fourth surge. See some of our past articles about vaccines below:
    If we did not address questions that you still have after reading this article, please reach out to us. We answer all calls and emails from our subscribers.
    Your ideas are valued and may be included in future articles.