So why weren't face masks recommended at the start of the pandemic? At that time, experts didn't know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Nor was it known that some people have COVID-19 but don't have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.
"It’s a very difficult situation," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "The U.K. government realizes the looming issues surrounding an exponential rise in cases and hospitalizations, and they need to respond."
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, particularly older adults who are more susceptible to disease, negative effect of health decline and loss of connectivity, according to Dr. Christina Chen, a Mayo Clinic geriatrician.
"People came together in adversity, responded and synergized to create a situation where we not only survived, but thrived within this challenging environment," says Dr. Conor Loftus, chair of Mayo Clinic outpatient practice.
Naturally, one may think he was completely on board to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but that wasn't the case at first. Initially, he had some hesitations.
While some holiday gatherings were smaller than traditional celebrations, even small gatherings can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially given the prevalence of the virus in the U.S.
If you have signs or symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it's important that you contact your health care provider right away for medical advice. But COVID-19, the common cold, seasonal allergies and the flu (influenza) cause many similar symptoms.
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My son is turning 6 soon, and we usually schedule a well-child visit with his pediatrician around his birthday. I know he needs several vaccinations, but with COVID-19 still being around, I'm wondering if I should postpone the appointment. Is it safe for him to see the doctor and get vaccinated now?
Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a Mayo Clinic psychologist, says one of the most effective treatments for seasonal affective disorder is exposure to artificial light or light therapy. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Sawchuk explains how to incorporate light therapy into your daily routine.
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Around the world, COVID-19 vaccinations are underway, but only in adults. Pfizer's vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up, while Moderna's vaccine is currently authorized for ages 18 and up. Vaccines are generally tested in adults first to ensure they are safe for pediatric trials. Both Pfizer and Moderna now have clinical trials underway to study the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in children.