Doctor discusses COVID as pandemic continues to evolve
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - For over two years now, we’ve learned a lot from doctors about the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, as new variants make their way into our daily lives, you probably still have questions.
With an influx of information coming at you almost every day, we sat down with a local doctor to get some of those questions answered as the pandemic continues to evolve.
Dr. David Schultz, a family practice physician in Evansville, says to stay safe this winter with COVID variants spreading and other illnesses like the flu, the best thing you can do is monitor your symptoms.
Dr. Schultz says if you get a cough, congestion or a runny nose, it’s probably a good idea to stay at home and see how the next day or two goes.
Dr. Schultz says if you’re not feeling much better then it’s probably time to get an appointment with your physician scheduled and maybe get tested for the Coronavirus or the flu.
Now we’ve seen an incredible increase in COVID-19 cases recently. Dr. Schultz says checking in on your mental health through all of this is just as important as anything else.
“If you have good mental health you’re more likely to have good physical health and vise versa,” Dr. Schultz said. “So it’s very very important for us to maintain an adequate amount of socialization, so we can have that human contact. It’s very very important. Not just for the younger persons but for all of individuals in society, including those who are elderly and those who are retired.”
Although socialization is important, Dr. Schultz says a good indication of maybe sitting a gathering out is checking your symptoms.
If you’re not feeling well, you should probably stay home.
By now, we’ve seen the reports of Pfizer’s CEO announcing an Omicron-specific vaccine that they say should be ready by March.
Dr. Schultz says there’s a lot of controversy about how many vaccines will be made for the different variants of the virus, but he says the most important thing to focus on right now is getting the basic COVID-19 vaccine and the booster shot as well.
That’s that three-shot series, and then expect another booster in about a year.
Dr. Schultz says the dominant strain of the Coronavirus is always being looked at, so he says more than likely a booster will be created for the dominant strain in about a year.
However, he says that’s merely a prediction and it’s hard to predict specifics with the virus.
”The body will adapt to that over time and still give you some immunity to give you an adequate amount of response to even the variants,” he says. “The question becomes, will we get a variant that’s so aggressive that our bodies aren’t able to overcome it and our immune systems are not able to fight. Those are more of a problem for those who have never had the vaccine and have very few antibodies to prepare against COVID-19.”
Dr. Schlutz says another criticism he hears often is about those who have had the virus and decided not to get the vaccine.
He says it’s true, antibodies are made for those who had the virus but it’s believed that those antibodies fall off rapidly after getting the virus itself.
So a person’s immunity may not last as long as a person who had the vaccination.
Dr. Schultz says if you feel like you need to wear a mask in public, he encourages it.
Dr. Schlutz says masking does reduce the spread of infection, not just COVID-19 but also other infections like the flu.
He also emphasizes good hand washing, plenty of rest and even healthy eating habits.
“Related to that, I would encourage those who are obese and have weight problems to try and get into an exercise routine. Because it has been shown that weight loss and a leaner body mass would help prevent an individual from getting the serious side effects of COVID-19,“ Dr. Schultz explained.
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