Despite the time elapsed, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause outbreaks on a global scale. If we are to have any hope of beating it back to controllable levels, we will all need to take necessary precautions during the holiday season. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to cancel your family gatherings this year. Let’s look at the top COVID precautions to take over the holidays.
Thanks to the scientific advances made over the past two years we now have access to vaccines and much faster testing. These two improvements are going to make it much easier to visit your family. Specifically, without the risk of infecting your most vulnerable loved ones as long as you use them appropriately. Here are just a few precautions you can take to make sure your family and friends stay safe this holiday season.
If you haven’t already been inoculated, then you should book your first appointment four to six weeks prior to your holiday event. The Pfizer vaccine is now available to children as young as six, so make sure they’re inoculated as well. Studies continue to show that fully vaccinated people prove far less likely to spread the virus to others. So vaccinating young children who can spread pathogens to older family members remains a massive safety improvement.
Have you received your second Covid vaccine at least six months ago? Then make an appointment at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office for your booster. Getting your booster right before the holidays will increase the level of antibodies active in your body. This then increases your ability to fight the virus and decreasing the likelihood that you will spread it also.
The necessity of COVID testing for schools has greatly increased the number of testing sites available to residents in the United States. Take advantage of their easy availability and make sure you have a negative test before you go to visit family and friends this holiday season.
If you don’t have time to quarantine yourself after receiving your negative test, opt for same-day COVID testing. You can easily book an appointment for the afternoon before or the morning of your holiday event, allowing you to rest easy knowing that you will not spread the virus to anyone. It’s the best peace of mind you can ask for during the pandemic.
Somehow public health has become a heavily politicized topic, but that isn’t what’s important when it comes to keeping your family safe. Before attending a holiday gathering, be frank and ask people whether or not they’ve been vaccinated or tested.
Be clear that you’re not asking as a point of judgment. You just need to be able to evaluate the risk for yourself so that you can act accordingly. If you feel the risk is too high for you personally, you may suggest an outdoor event or wear a mask. Ultimately, your goal is to be comfortable and safe. After all, you want to enjoy these events with your family and friends once the pandemic ends.
To avoid larger outbreaks, you may want to consider booking several holiday events with smaller groups of people. In the case of a possible exposure, that means a smaller group of people are actually exposed to the infected person. You can make this process even safer by testing yourself between each event.
At this point, staying safe during the pandemic is just a matter of practicality and patience. It’s far from the ideal. But if a few shots and the occasional test can help keep your loved ones safe this holiday season, then it’s absolutely worth it.