May might be over, but we know this is an issue that’s important to your teams, and to us every day. We’re keeping our Mental Health section as long as it continues to be a major issue for your employees and communities.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Rebounding is real, and there are at least a few cases being studied that show that people who are rebounding after a course of Paxlovid may be contagious during their rebound. In those cases, people felt better, ended their isolation, and then felt sick for a few days again. It’s during that rebound that they infected household members. There are only a few of these cases that are confirmed, so it’s unclear how widespread it is. But if someone experiences rebound symptoms, they should NOT come to work. If they have no symptoms but continue to test positive, that’s less of a concern, as some people test positive for weeks and even months after infection, and it’s not always associated with infectiousness. But it’s a good reminder that anyone with symptoms - even if they just had COVID - should stay home and isolate.
There are now two antiviral treatments available for COVID: Paxlovid and the newer molnupiravir (it doesn’t roll off the tongue!). Paxlovid is much more widely used (about 15x more) because it has fewer side effects and appears to be more effective at preventing hospitalizations. There’s even one concerning study that showed that molnupiravir might even have worse outcomes than no treatment at all, so we highly recommend talking with your doctor about it, and know that a large majority of doctors preferred Paxlovid.
A recent study confirmed that “conversion messages” work best. They tell the story of a person who was initially hesitant (like the listener), the information they got, and how it changed their minds. A great example we’ve seen of this is from Nurses Who Vaccinate, a nonprofit who participated in a webinar we saw earlier in the pandemic. They had a nurse talk about how she was initially hesitant to get vaccinated, how she talked with a trusted supervisor who calmly explained the science behind it with care, and how that changed her mind. The evidence shows that this approach works much better than a one-sided message. Matching the psychological state of the listener is key. Matching the person’s own hesitancy makes them feel like the source is more credible, as well.
Personally, we’re looking at our important events and activities and making some more conservative decisions in the week prior to that event, to prevent unnecessary exposures that might stop us from attending. But most people are still traveling and attending weddings, events and larger meetings these days. The CDC does now recommend testing before travel and not traveling if you test positive.