As we enter November, the holiday season is in full swing. As America comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are returning to their normal holiday travel habits. Dr. Anthony Bianchi knows family members want to make sure they are not only protecting themselves but lessening the risk of COVID-19 exposure for their loved ones. Today, the Doctor will offer some helpful information, so everyone can gather as safely and as happily as possible this holiday season.
The best thing anyone can do to protect themselves and others from the COVID-19 pandemic is to get their COVID-19 vaccination. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently advises that anyone over the age of 5 without a medical condition should receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those aged 18 or older are eligible for a COVID booster shot six months after receiving their second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech. Doctor Anthony Bianchi recommends those in need of a vaccine shot to get it ASAP as it takes about 14 days for the vaccine to provide the person with the protective immunity it offers.
Doctor Anthony Bianchi encourages all travelers to consider who they are gathering with this holiday season. We now know that COVID-19 spreads much easier indoors than it does in open air spaces. If there are members of the family who are at risk or have a weakened immune system, a mask should be worn in their presence. Even if someone tests before their travel, it is still possible that they could have contracted the virus in recent days. If everyone is vaccinated inside the home and no one is a higher risk of complications, it is okay to gather around the dining room table and enjoy a great meal.
Everyone who is going to travel for the holidays should be extra aware of COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms can include a sore throat, fever, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, trouble breathing and a loss of taste or smell. When these symptoms occur, be sure to test to ensure it is not just your common seasonal cold. If a test comes back positive, Doctor Anthony Bianchi strongly suggests canceling all travel plans. To lessen the risk of contracting the virus, people should continue to practice regular hand washing, physical distancing, sneezing into the elbow and other routine hygiene practices. The unvaccinated should always have a mask on and practice social distancing whenever in public.
Remember, a lot of people have been practicing quarantine restrictions for the better part of two years. This type of isolation can weigh heavily on a person emotionally. Take the time to check on your mental health. Dr. Anthony Bianchi encourages anyone feeling down to seek out help and talk to someone. It’s also possible that family members will be experiencing anxiety or depression during the holiday season. Stay on the lookout for warning signs and just be there for those you care about.
COVID-19 guidelines have changed several times as the medical community gathers more information on the virus. COVID-19 continues to mutate, and the CDC will provide additional instructions as data is collected. Before heading out to a friend or family’s house this holiday season, Dr. Anthony Bianchi recommends checking in on the latest standard guidelines.