Record-breaking COVID cases in the state + how you can help

COVID cases continue to rise in the state. Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

With rising cases across the country, Alabama continues to see record-breaking numbers in COVID cases. Here’s what you need to know and how you can help slow the spread.

First, let’s put things into perspective

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 2,295 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday and the month of November marks the state’s highest month in cases. With this rise, local hospitals saw a record number of patients in intensive care units, including 125 patients currently at UAB.

However, local hospitals like UAB are bracing for an even larger surge from the Thanksgiving holiday. The state has reported over 249,000 total virus cases since March with almost a quarter of those cases happening all in the month of November.

Local hospitals see alarmingly rising cases of COVID-19. Photo via Jefferson County

This morning UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo talked about the spike of cases in hospitalizations in Alabama. Her biggest concerns include:

  • Lack of testing
  • “A tidal wave of patients” from the Thanksgiving holiday
  • Lack of hospital beds for increasing cases

According to Dr. Marrazzo, UAB saw a record number of COVID patients yesterday. Sounds scary? Well, it is! With Christmas and other holidays around the corner, it’s up to us to keep each other safe, including our healthcare workers who take care of us and then return home with their families.

How you can help slow the spread

Wear 👏🏾 your 👏🏾 mask 👏🏾

If our wonderful healthcare workers can wear a mask for an entire shift, you definitely can wear yours in the grocery store. Photo via UAB Medicine

Nowadays, I don’t go anywhere without my mask. It’s the easiest and one of the most effective ways (besides staying indoors) to slow the spread of COVID. Here’s a little confession—as much as I’d love a vaccine, I’m actually enjoying matching my mask to my outfit. Plus, it cuts down on my morning routine. Who needs makeup when you’re wearing a mask, right?

Keep your circle small for the holidays

Birmingham, Ashley Mac's, Thanksgiving, catering, dressing, stuffing, cornbread
Keep that holiday circle small to help slow the spread. Photo via Bham Now

Doctors were worried about the rise in cases due to the Thanksgiving holiday and we have yet to see its full impact. The holidays are going to look very different this year and they should.

For example, my Thanksgiving wasn’t the traditional turkey and stuffing set up with family sitting around the table. I took a trip up to the mountains with my immediate family after quarantining to just have some safe, quality time.

Consider this your safety checklist for the holidays:

  • Bring your own food/drinks.
  • Have celebrations outdoors, if possible.
  • Wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from guests.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
  • Consider celebrating virtually.

We shared several important COVID-19 updates, including how to handle the holidays. Discover some tips including best holiday practices from the CDC.

Take some time to be a little lazy

Why go out when you can Netflix and shop local online instead. Photo via Bham Now

COVID has made it socially acceptable to be a bit lazy. Here’s what I mean by that.

We all have smartphones nowadays so let’s utilize them. Need groceries? Shipt can have all your necessities and more on your porch in no time. Craving something specific? Delivery services like Waitr can bring a five-course meal straight to your door.

Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to stay socially distant and minimize contact with those outside of your circle.

It’s not all doom + gloom

UAB COVID-19 Lab
UAB researcher performing preclinical testing of a potential vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 virus. Photo courtesy of UAB

Let’s look on the bright side. Within the past few weeks there has been encouraging vaccine news. Right now the buzz is around Moderna, Pfizer and AstroZeneca. I’m no doctor, but some of the vaccine trials sure sound promising.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is said to deliver strong efficacy results, showing 94% efficacy in key studies.

Pfizer’s vaccine is 85% effective against the virus beginning 28 days after taking the first dose.

AstroZeneca’s vaccine has shown an average efficacy of 70% in its large-scale trials.

While we let the scientist and doctors work their magic, let’s keep practicing social distancing and wearing those masks. I can feel the eye rolls, but that’s one of the easiest, most effective ways to fight this virus.

For more info on COVID-19 news + developments, check out these articles.

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  • Chaise is a brunch-loving Content Producer and helps manage the Bham Now Instagram account.