Photo of a microscopic enlargement of the COVID-19 virus with the text, COVID-19 Why it matters: Spring break, protect yourself

Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 19, Spring Break, protect yourself against variants

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel discussing COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 19: Spring Break, protect yourself against variants: 

“Good morning, Brian Merkel, microbiology and immunology at UW-Green Bay and we are here to talk about why COVID-19 matters to you.

There are so many things to be optimistic in. We are going to have enough vaccine supply to vaccinate every adult in the United States by the end of May. We have the good news about the supply, and we are coming down off of the curve. However, on the other hand, importantly we have these COVID variants which are much more contagious. That requires us then to be vigilant.

In fact, studies indicate that if we relax our good public health measures that would greatly impact the effectiveness of the vaccines, despite how rapid the rollout would be. The idea is to approach spring break with wearing masks, keeping our distance, and washing our hands, avoiding congregate settings, so we can allow the vaccines to do the good work that they need to do.

Especially where the variants are concerned because if we do otherwise, the concern is that we will be looking at a fourth surge caused by these COVID variants despite all the great vaccines that we have available to us.”

COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel https://youtu.be/M-yYPSPk30Q

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from https://youtu.be/DYbiIv8ICgs

Part 2: Two main types of viruses https://youtu.be/O-OVk3rx96s

Part 3: Why is this virus serious? https://youtu.be/EDFyNN8i5G4

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask? https://youtu.be/FlcAvlt876Y

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care? https://youtu.be/TDrEV_beY1U

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start? https://youtu.be/lgWnJZNYbFI

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask? https://youtu.be/IG3Sl3q-xH8

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year? https://youtu.be/DGpBFj0fJkA

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine? https://youtu.be/eQ3FclkYaQo

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information? https://youtu.be/pLMlU5Xnkgo

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear? https://youtu.be/gCFHxQvkVYE

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin? https://youtu.be/OuqmXvrDApY

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others https://youtu.be/h21Ed_bBTE4

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important? https://youtu.be/Fr9VJZZrTE0

Part 15: What are COVID-19 Antibodies? https://youtu.be/J2lfJzoUEHI

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants? https://youtu.be/5l58jEZv3NQ

Part 17: Vaccine myths vs reality https://youtu.be/bGqLsRRbzVk

Part 18: What is long-hauler syndrome? https://youtu.be/f11b8nFpJiE

Part 19: Spring break, protect yourself against variants https://youtu.be/15ifuIosz2c