And just like that, the holiday season is already here! Holiday parties and gatherings are sure to look a little different this year, but we’ve talked to Dr. Manoj K. Jain, a local infectious disease specialist, to get five things you need to know to stay healthy and safe this winter.
- Keep Gatherings Within the Household – Holiday dinners should look a little different this year. Dr. Jain recommends that you keep your gatherings limited to those within your household. Look at it this way, you can avoid the awkward dinner table questions from your extended family!
- Save the Massive Meals for Later – If you can’t skip the big gatherings, think about skipping the meal. Dr. Jain says that the best way to stay safe is to stay masked and distant. You can’t wear a mask while you’re chowing down, but you can while chatting it up (six feet away!). Quality time is the reason for the season – not just the turkey!
- Get Tested! – Can’t stay away for the holidays? Dr. Jain reminds us to get tested and quarantine before heading to events. Testing – and quarantining – is the only way to be sure that you’re negative and won’t spread COVID to family members, especially ones that are high risk.
- Talk About Staying Safe – It’s up to us to be proactive about staying safe. Whether you’re thinking about your loved ones’ health or considering your own, Dr. Jain suggests having frank conversations about the risks of socializing. Not only do these conversations keep everyone informed, but they also provide everyone with a sense of responsibility. Keep each other accountable!
- Get your flu shot! – COVID is dangerous, but COVID plus the Flu is a recipe for crisis. Dr. Jain shares that the effects of having both illnesses can be devasting, so taking the extra step to protect yourself is more important than ever. It probably won’t cost you much, either – most health plans cover flu shots, so be sure to check your coverage before you go.
As a last reminder, Dr. Jain stresses that “the control or the ability to reduce risk of infection is in our hands. Our behavior determines the way this epidemic will turn in our community.” If we all take these tips into consideration, we can significantly clear up the spread of the COVID-19 in our communities.
Have a safe holiday!