Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.
Karen asks, "If you test positive, what is the best way to keep your family members safe?"
You should try to isolate yourself in one part of the house, in a separate bedroom and, if possible, with your own bathroom. If you have to enter a common area, like the kitchen, you should be wearing a high-quality mask and so should your family members. Do not take your mask off around them for any reason, including to eat or drink. And wash and sanitize your hands frequently. And even if you're feeling better and decide to come out of isolation after five days, keep wearing masks around each other until a full 10 days has passed.
Lynda writes, "Given the infection rate has drastically increased, should we start wiping down store packages and not wearing clothes worn outside inside our homes again?"
I don't think we need to be as compulsive as we were at the beginning of the pandemic in terms of wiping down groceries and changing clothes worn outside. But I do think we should continue to wash and sanitize our hands frequently and be compulsive about wearing a high-quality mask in public right now.
Sue asks, "I had mild COVID around Christmas. I am now negative with no symptoms. Can I get the booster now or must I wait longer?"
You can get a booster once you're out of isolation and feeling better. You don't necessarily need to rush out and get a booster since you were recently infected but probably should within two to three months of your infection.
An anonymous viewer writes, "My partner has a large face with a beard he can't shave. He can't get a good fit with a KN95 mask. Would he be better off with a 3-ply medical mask with a cloth mask to hold it in place or an ill-fitting KN95 mask?"
I think whatever mask "arrangement" provides the best seal is the way to go. I think either two medical masks or a medical mask with a cloth mask on top would be better than a poorly fitting KN95 mask. You can go to www.projectN95.org for mask suggestions.
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