The holidays are upon us, as well as cold and flu season. Holidays tend to have their own innate amount of stress, but this year the stress is compounded by rising COVID numbers. Many of us have family traditions that haven’t been broken for decades. The thought of breaking those traditions seems counterintuitive. Others of us are looking for an excuse to change up the holiday traditions, and this would be the perfect year.
Regardless of whether you want to continue the tradition or break from
the tradition this year, the discussion is the same. Base your decision on science rather than emotions.
Cases of COVID are reaching daily highs around the United States. The only safe decision this year is to keep your holiday celebration to the people who live in your house (if you are going to be inside at all). If you are planning on doing something outside, then it truly needs to stay outside. It should be a small, social distanced gathering, where individuals are masked. It takes a lot of planning to safely do a gathering outside where food is involved. You need to think about so much. If you are considering this, please make sure you do your research on safety first.
Some of our patients and families have asked to be COVID swabbed before they go to a relative or friend’s house so that they can reassure the other guests that they are negative. Unless you are physically quarantining for 2 weeks prior to the get-together, the test does not mean anything in terms of safety. A test is a moment in time. Testing too early on in the virus may cause a false-negative test. One might be harboring the virus at the Thanksgiving table and feel falsely reassured by their negative test.
Holidays should be a time of celebration. This year, the celebration will be overshadowed by worry and illness if we are not following proper precautions and recommendations. We don’t want to inadvertently hurt a family member or friend by making them ill. Each time you do the right thing, you are giving a gift to those around you.
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