UNITED STATES — The delta variant of COVID-19 is becoming even more dominant throughout the country. As numbers are rising, so is the amount of mixed messaging. Health professionals say getting the right information is crucial.
Nearly 18 months of living through a pandemic, Americans were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the delta variant made its entrance.
Many worry that more contagious equals more dangerous, but Connie Savor Price, the chief medical officer at Denver Health says that’s not always the case.
“The original variant were a little less transmissible or contagious than what we are seeing now with the delta variant," Savor Price said. “There’s a lot of predictions that this virus will continue to evolve until it kind of becomes just another one of their common cold viruses, and we’re seeing that with the delta variant where the symptoms are looking more like the common cold.”
But, as you've heard from health experts across the US, the variant does pose a threat to people who are not vaccinated. These mixed messages are confusing and make it hard to make informed decisions.
Erin Seedorf, with the Department of Health Professions at Metropolitan State University in Denver, says the novelty of this virus is what contributes to the confusion. It’s new to everyone.
“We are constantly trying to keep up with learning things and then being able to communicate those to the general public," Seedorf said.
“All they are trying to do is what we’re trying to do. They’re trying to survive and multiply," Savor Price said.
Both health professionals say there are two key things to focus on.
“First of all, we have a vaccine and the vaccine is effective even against the delta variant. It is highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization," Savor Price said. “The more herd immunity we have the less opportunity we give the virus to keep evolving and emerging.”
“The delta variant kind of came at the exact same time as the period where our vaccination rates have dropped dramatically," Seedorf said.
They say the push to vaccinate is still needed. The second is listening to trusted sources.
“You know, the sources are the same that I go to before the pandemic. The CDC, NIH, the Mayo Clinic, these are all very very reputable organizations and institutions that have been around for hundreds of years," Seedorf said. “They’ve been basing their information on the same science, on the same investigation principals. So, none of that has changed. It’s just the environment which where were at has changed.”
The confusion won’t end anytime soon, especially as parents prepare to send children back to school.
“I don’t think it’s an option to go back to some of the measures we took earlier. We have to figure out how to move forward," Savor Price said.
They say it’s all about balance, listening, absorbing, communicating, and asking questions to make the best decision for you.
“My daughter is sitting out there and she’s wearing a mask. She’s fully vaccinated. For her own safety and her own piece of mind, she feels that it’s safer for her to wear the mask all the time and doesn’t see that as impeding on her ability to live or do things that he wants to do," Seedorf said.