The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Unfortunately, the epidemic is worsening, and social gatherings contribute to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The CDC offers suggestions to protect yourself and your loved ones and to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The holidays often present a dizzying array of demands, and COVID-19 is sure to add feelings of additional worry. You may even feel extra anxious or sad because your holiday plans include unexpected changes in circumstances the pandemic has brought to our world. If you experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, crying more than usual, or your interpersonal relationships are suffering. It might be time to schedule an appointment to talk to one of our board-certified physicians.

Considerations for Holiday Gatherings

Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Avoid activities that are at higher risk for spread. Consider fun alternatives that pose a lower risk of spreading COVID-19.

Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.

Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.

Celebrating virtually or with small gatherings of your household (including family members and roommates) poses the lowest risk for spread. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying risk levels. The CDC recommends specific guidelines to reduce the possibility of spreading infection when planning events and gatherings, including the following:

  • Do not host or attend gatherings with anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • If you are an older adult or person with certain medical conditions at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or live or work with someone at an increased risk, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.
  • If you are exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday gathering, or at any time, quarantine yourself to protect others.

If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, schedule an appointment to speak with one of DocReady’s board-certified physicians.

Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving.
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race.
  • Attending crowded parades.
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.

Getting a flu shot this year is particularly important because, like SARS-CoV-2, influenza is a respiratory virus,. We want to do everything we can to minimize having two respiratory outbreaks circulating simultaneously in our populations.

Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated. However, flu vaccines are still useful any time during the flu season and can often be accessed into January or later.

If you have any questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic or any other health-related questions, please visit our Doctor’s Blog or schedule an appointment today with one of DocReady’s physicians.