If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, call 988 or message the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
The most common side effects of Paxlovid are diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and a temporary change in sense of taste, often called Paxlovid Tongue. Rarer and more serious side effects include an allergic reaction (hives, trouble swallowing or breathing, rash) or liver problems (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, pale-colored stool). For those with HIV, it can cause resistance to HIV medicines, making them less effective. If you experience any serious side effects while taking Paxlovid, call your doctor and seek medical attention.
We should certainly keep an eye on it. Some experts predict that a million people will die in 2023 if China’s case counts continue to surge and vaccinations stay stalled as they end their strict “zero COVID” policy. As a result of looser restrictions, China’s outbreak creates a risk that a new variant emerges. China’s massive population of 1.4 billion people means that risk is higher than it might be elsewhere. Unfortunately, there’s a relatively low “immunity wall” due to previously low virus spread and China’s use of non-mRNA vaccines, which are less effective against Omicron subvariants. The conditions are right for the virus to continue its exponential spread. Right now, the variants circulating in China are all Omicron subvariants, but if their surge is as large as some predict it might be, it could create an opportunity for mutations to arise and a new variant to emerge. We’ll definitely be watching closely and continuing to update on the situation.
Not just yet - peaking is a good thing (if it’s actually happening), but it doesn’t mean numbers are actually down, just that they’re not continuing to skyrocket. Early data indicates it is the worst flu season in nearly two decades. The flu is still bad out there, and with the holidays coming up and travel reaching pre-pandemic levels, we should not let our guard down. Stay home when you’re sick, even if you test negative for COVID - it could be the flu, RSV, or something else contagious.
First, wear a mask on planes, trains, or other public transportation. It’s low lift and it protects you and those around you. Take a rapid test before you travel, and again when you arrive before you gather with friends or family, especially if you’re meeting up with those who are at higher risk, like grandparents or new babies. If anyone does start to feel sick, have them isolate even if they test negative - it’s not fun to miss the festivities, but it’s even less fun to spread a virus to the whole family.
A Note from ZHH: Enjoy your holidays, stay safe, and we’ll resume the Executive Briefing in the new year! If anything urgent comes up, we’ll send an alert through the app and via email. Happy holidays!