With vaccination numbers on the rise, it might seem like we are on the road to recovery. But that road will both rise and occasionally fall, before we are at its end. In fact, as of this writing, the CDC reports that the US is in the fourth week of an upward trend in COVID-19 cases. This could be for many different reasons, including new and more contagious variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
So, has our vigilance been for nothing? Not at all! Did you notice something about the flu season this year? It was practically a no-show. At the end of February 2021, labs reporting to the CDC had found just 1,585 positive tests for the flu compared to 183,000 positive tests from the same period the year before. Among other things, this reduction in flu cases is due to the “precautions people have been taking for COVID,” says Isaac Bogoch, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. These precautions include wearing masks, hand washing, social distancing, and health screenings.
The benefits to maintaining these precautions are enormous. Aside from enjoying the health and well-being of their employees, employers will begin to see the ongoing, bottom-line benefits from these precautions in the form of a reduction in lost time and productivity due to avoidable illness. Companies would do well to consider perpetuating these precautions as they make new decisions around health and safety policies and a growing workforce returning to their places of work. They say health is the new wealth. Through our vigilance, let’s stay on this road to recovery and find out.