pandemic crisis | pandemic impacts | airborne transmission

vaccine boosters | variant classification | treatments | stages

testing: comparison | diagnostic testing: interpretation

vaccine concerns | vaccine comparison

Diagnostic testing: intepretation

See testing: comparison for all types of tests

Last updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The PCR test is more accurate than the rapid antigen test. PCR tests are also known as nucleic acid amplification tests that amplify the sample through making copies to ensure better detection. Tests that have multiple virus gene targets are less susceptible to errors detecting variants.

A positive result for diagnostic tests indicates the presence of the virus spike protein for the rapid antigen test or the virus’ genetic makeup for the PCR test. Cross-contamination or sample mix-ups can cause false positives. Poor sample collection can cause false negatives.

High community prevalence or exposure increases your chance of testing positive and gives a sense of how likely your positive result is true.

Having symptoms is an indication that you may be infected, but being asymptomatic does not mean you are not infected nor does it mean your viral load is lower than someone who is symptomatic.

The rapid antigen test can provide a quicker diagnostic result and is available at-home, however it is less accurate and interpretation is dependent on whether you are symptomatic and in a community of high prevalence or have high exposure.


  • CDC Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests
  • FDA Testing basics
  • CDC Antigen tests
  • Pubmed Viral load in asymptomatic versus symptomatic patients

Return to contents

Pandemic Crisis

The impacts on health in early life cumulatively influences the next stages all the way through old age. The life course model allows us to visualize new life choices within the context of COVID-19 (see our blog post for details on each life stage)

The pandemic has underscored the reality that life’s choices are limited. Cohorts may never catch up to earlier and later cohorts; have continuing disadvantages that lead to poor health outcomes later in life. Markets have stagnated and people may be stranded away from loved ones due to travel restrictions

The lasting effects of outliving a partner, child, or loved ones who died from COVID-19 destabilizes mental health. However, the pandemic has highlighted existing inequity and led to more instances of the use of collective action to address systemic racism. The cumulative effects of COVID-19 requires that we address the weaknesses in our social systems. The life course model allows us to acknowledge intervention points at each life stage to help us all work toward a healthier future.


Return to contents

Pandemic impact

U.S. surveys reported more negative than positive impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are still experiencing residual effects on physical and mental health as we await booster shots to deal with breakthrough cases.

In NY State, the rate of vaccine effectiveness has waxed and waned over time. In May 2021, vaccine effectiveness reached 91.8%, however by August it dropped to 77.3%.


Return to contents

Airborne transmission

As we return to school and to work some considerations for how to maintain safe classrooms come from experts in exposome. These experts are concerned with measuring environmental exposures over time

The discovery that COVID-19 is transmitted mainly through the air can be credited to these scientists who assert that the most important factors in considering aerosol transmission are distance, air circulation, time, and dose 🌬🌬


  • FAQ on Protecting Yourself from Aerosol Transmission Version: 1.88, 13-Aug-2021
  • Dr. Richard Corsi, BASC (Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate) Spring 2020 meeting

Return to contents

vaccine boosters

Last updated: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

All U.S. adults 18+ years are eligible for booster shots. Booster shots can help keep us safer from instances of breakthrough COVID considering two factors:

1.       The effectiveness of the original vaccination wanes over time

2.       The delta variant is more virulent than earlier strains

Thus far, reported side effects are similar or less than the original vaccine

Real world evidence from Israel shows that the booster was effective in dampening the 4th wave and adverse events were less acute than prior two doses. There was a nationwide decrease in positive tests after boosters were administered to most age groups

If you received J&J as your original vaccination, you can receive any booster (Moderna, Pfizer, and/or J&J) shot at least 2 months after. Similarly, if you were originally vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer you can receive any booster at least 6 months after


Prior authorization source(s):

Return to contents

variant classification

As most of your know, in NYC, the CDC has recently relaxed mask wearing requirements especially in outdoor spaces 😷❤️

We personally never stopped wearing masks even though we’ve been fully vaccinated since spring. We choose to take precautions because we know that none of the vaccines have 100% effectiveness so there is still a chance of getting COVID-19 even if you are fully vaccinated; and there are new variants

You may want to consider/maintain mask-wearing and physical distancing

Here is a concise list of how both scientists and the media are labeling different variants to help everyone in your community take the appropriate precautions


Return to contents

Treatments 2022

Last updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2022

(1) As COVID-19 cases become more prevalent in the general population, you may need to understand the available treatments. From a public health perspective, prevention is preferred over treatment so it is still important to continue masking, maintaining distance from others, and staying up to date with vaccinations

(2) Around 80% of the population have mild symptoms and can recover safely at home

(3) If you have moderate or severe symptoms, your treatment will depend on clinical efficacy, availability, feasibility of administering, drug interactions, and which variants are most prevalent in your neighborhood

(4) In December 2021, the FDA re-issued a warning that Ivermectin currently has insufficient evidence for treatment of COVID-19. Ivermectin is still under investigation in clinical trials, but currently the NIH cites a total of 9 clinical studies that show no improvement in symptoms, and no differences in mortality or hospital length of stay

(5)  FDA Emergency Use Authorized Monoclonal Antibodies include: bamlanivimab plus etesevimab*; Bebtelovimab OR casirivimab plus imdevimab*, Sotrovimab*, Tixagevimab Plus Cilgavimab, where * means paused due to reduced Omicron susceptibility

(6) For non-hospitalized patient, antiviral therapy is recommended (Paxlovid preferred over Remdesivir). If those are not available/feasible/clinically appropriate, use antiviral Molnupiravir or antibody Bebtelovimab. Hospitalized patients are given Remdesivir as it needs to be administered with an IV over a period of three days


  • NIH antiviral therapy summary recommendations
  • NIH antibody summary recommendations
  • FDA Warning on Ivermectin
  • NIH Ivermectin selected clinical data
  • FDA Paxlovid Emergency Use Authorization Healthcare Provider Fact Sheet
  • NIH COVID-19 Clinical Management summary

Return to contents

treatments 2021

Last updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2021

If you or a loved one needs to be treated for coronavirus, it would be helpful to know- in advance- the types of treatments available for patients ❤️

At the beginning of the pandemic, all insurers in the U.S. covered the cost of treatment. However, most insurance companies have already ended this courtesy. Therefore, the cost of treatment for COVID-19 will shift to the consumer 💰💰💰


Return to contents


One way to combat COVID-19 is to understand the stages of infection in the case that you or a loved one is exposed to the virus

Even with many people receiving vaccines nationwide—re/infection is still possible, and while there is not enough research on people who continue to experience symptoms, it is important that we all account for the possibility ❤️✨❤️


Return to contents


See diagnostic testing: interpretation

Latest updates on Covid-19 testing. Which tests are appropriate for specific situations and what should you or your insurer cover when opting for tests


Return to contents

vaccine concerns

Concerns about COVID-19 vaccines were related to misinformation, mistrust, side effects, and misrepresentation in clinical trials


Further reading:

Return to contents