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Senior Older and Wiser By June Michel

THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED. Almost every day there is another report saying enough is enough. Examples include our Black Lives Matter fight, the Me 2 movement and pressure to house the homeless. Most recently, individuals who did the right thing when they were told to get a COVID-19 vaccine are becoming intolerant of those who refused the shot and have now put us all at risk with the delta variant. People are questioning our traditional tolerance when covid infections are at an all time high and our hospitals are strained to capacity. To be fair, delta variant infections are spiking worldwide but once again, seniors find themselves in the eye of the hurricane. OK seniors, here is the most recent coronavirus information.

VACCINE BOOSTER FOR SENIORS: From the beginning seniors were asking if the covid inoculation would require a booster like the annual flu shot. President Biden has just announced that people with compromised immune systems, healthcare workers and seniors will be eligible for a covid booster shot eight months after their second shot. The booster shots will be available as early as September. Studies have shown that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines start to lose their effectiveness after about eight months. Check your vaccine card and calculate your eligibility.

MASKS: The Governor's new mask mandate took effect Monday. Whereas before the mandate covered unvaccinated individuals, because of the recent infection spike and especially because so many children are being hospitalized, this mandate applies to everyone. There are health and religion exemptions available. Small groups meeting inside are exempt if it is known that all participants are vaccinated.

As I write this I can hear my readers saying "I told you so" and you were right.

PROOF OF VACCINATION: At the very least, take a phone photo of your white COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (vaccine card). Many restaurants and shops are now requiring proof. Here is a list of acceptable forms of proof as set out by the state Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Health:

Vaccine card or photo of vaccine card.

Documentation from a health care provider.

State immunization system record.

A hard copy or electronically signed self-attestation from the employee.

COVID-19 ANTIBODY DRUGS: These lab created antibody infusion treatments have proven effective at minimizing coronavirus symptoms and the length of hospital stay. This is an option once you have come down with the virus but are not hospitalized. Doctors have been quick to point out that antibody infusion does not take the place of the vaccination. This antibody infusion is the treatment that was given to former president Donald Trump last October when he was hospitalized with COVID-19. It's called the Regeneron dual antibody cocktail. Importantly, the vaccines are free and because the government has stockpiled Regeneron during the pandemic, these Regeneron infusions are also provided free of charge.

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