May is Mental Health Awareness month. We’re proud to join the movement to bring more awareness to mental health issues that are facing 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.
This is definitely a concerning outbreak, and we know the horrific impact that downplaying an emergent disease can have from our experiences with COVID and AIDS. That said, there are still only just over 100 confirmed cases worldwide, so we are nowhere near pandemic levels of infection right now. At this stage, people should continue to take the same precautions they do for COVID. Symptoms are similar to COVID and flu, but also include swollen lymph nodes. Generally a few days after symptom onset, a rash begins - most often on the palms and feet, but occasionally in the eyelids, nose, mouth, or genitals. If you have any of those symptoms, call your doctor. A key difference between monkeypox and COVID is that because of its similarity to smallpox and other diseases we know a lot about, we actually already have a ton of research and treatment options.
Amazingly, the smallpox vaccine is about 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, so that’s great news in general, though some younger people who were born after smallpox was eradicated may not be protected. That said, we don’t think you need to be buying vaccine for your employees just yet. Individual employees may consider discussing their vaccination status with their doctor.
We’re unfortunately seeing over and over that large parties or meetings are still regularly resulting in outbreaks, especially if there’s not repeated testing. Most experts agree that we’ll see another surge in the fall, though many are hopeful that it won’t be as bad as the one we had in January. Still, we’re certainly wary of hosting large in-person meetings in the fall and winter, where there are fewer outdoor options. If you do, we highly recommend requiring testing before travel to and upon arrival at the event. Open windows, host as much as possible outside, and consider masks in enclosed areas.
The answer isn’t fun to hear - it’s a lot. The same person appears to be able to get COVID many times. Lots of people have had it at least twice, with some getting four or more times. Omicron has made reinfection more likely and appears to have shortened the amount of time that someone’s protected after getting sick. So, just because you had COVID before doesn’t mean you can’t get it again, though you do still have a higher level of protection than someone who hasn’t had it recently.
Welcome to the Next COVID Wave - New York Magazine