Take Care of Body & Mind

Tuesday, 01 March 2022

It’s been a long two years for us all, and now we’re at the point of allowing wider transmission of the COVID-19 virus through our community. Whilst we may feel a touch of anxiety about this, please know that there is a lot to feel confident about. Case numbers are rising, and will continue to do so with the latest data suggesting up to 90% of Omicron infections are asymptomatic - this Virus is impossible to stop, but we can contain it if we follow public health guidelines.

First off, I want to talk about the booster shot. The latest data from CDC in America indicates that if you’re over 50 years of age, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation with the Omicron variant fell to 57% in people who had received their second dose more than six months earlier - the great news is that the booster shot restored that protection to 90%. So if there’s anything you get out of this article, it should be to get your booster shot as soon as you are eligible - currently, this is 3 months from your second dose.

Symptoms of the Omicron variant infection seems to have less of the loss of smell and taste than previous variants and more symptoms of runny, blocked nose, headaches and body aches and fever.

So what do we use for these symptoms?

  • Paracetamol and Ibuprofen - most people can take these without any problems, and we underestimate how good these are! Check with us if you have underlying conditions, and be careful not to take too much Paracetamol – it’s quite often packaged in other cold and flu remedies. For the nasal symptoms a decongestant spray, sore throat remedy and rehydration solutions - especially if there are diarrhoea and vomiting present.
  • Thermometer - fever is another common symptom and it’s important to monitor your temperature - anything over 37.4C means you may have an infection. Take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and if fever continues to go up - contact the public health team.
  • Oximeter - because the virus attacks the respiratory system - a pulse oximeter measures your oxygen saturation in your blood. Most healthy individuals range between 99-98%, but if it drops below 95 you need to seek immediate medical attention. These should be supplied by public health.
  • Face masks – it’s time to lose the cute cloth masks and get the surgical masks, or even better N95 or KN95 or P2 masks. We do have a large selection of these at the moment. To anyone that doubts if masks work - our cold and flu sales are down roughly 67% from 2 years ago.
  • Prescribed medicines - really focus on being compliant on these - especially for the diabetics and asthmatics out there. From overseas data we see that Diabetes and Asthma are conditions that seem to make the virus more impactful - so managing these long-term conditions are really important.


Make sure whenever possible you socialise outdoors - Omicron is an airborne virus. Inside, keep the doors and windows open.

Connect with elderly neighbours in your neighbourhood - with the over 65 cohort - we need to keep our whanua safe - offer to help with deliveries, groceries. Certainly for our customers, we offer a free delivery service for any Pharmacy products you may need - please contact us for further information.


If you’re finding the anxiety levels increasing - step away from the news. Take a 48 hour break from it all.

Remember that NZ, and Dunedin especially, is amazing! We are so compliant compared to other places in the world: over 95% double vaxed, and mask use is everywhere. We are in such a good place for what’s to come - take strength from this. Worry about what you can control: you can’t control this virus, but you can control your behaviour. All the excellent habits we’ve learned over the past years (making sure you get the booster, staying at home if you’re sick, social distancing, QR code scanning , wearing a mask, hand hygiene) compound to put us in a really great position for what’s to come.

I am cautiously optimistic that we will get through this next phase well. Our Pharmacy’s entry requirements have changed too. It’s of the upmost importance for us to protect our staff and protect our community to the best of our ability. Simply put, this is our primary goal for the next 3-4 months. Thanks for your understanding on this. Please follow us on Facebook to get all the up-to-date information you need.

Hang in there team – we’ve got this!