Thanksgiving health and safety
A recent survey reveals that many people are reluctant to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Experts say there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting the virus during holiday gatherings.
Many families and friends who want to spend Thanksgiving together this year are wondering how to celebrate safely and whether to organize a holiday gathering with loved ones who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
A recent Harris poll of more than 2,000 people, including more than 1,400 vaccinated people, shows that half of those vaccinated are reluctant to spend the holidays with their unvaccinated family and friends.
âIf you take some pretty simple steps, you can actually reunite with your family indoors without a mask. The risk will not be zero, but it will be much, much, much lower than it could possibly be, âsays Dr. William Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard.
Dr Hanage puts vaccination at the top of the list. âIf you are not vaccinated or if you are surrounded by people who are not for some reason, you can reduce the risks by using rapid tests, for example. People can take a quick test before they come to Thanksgiving dinner, âhe says.
Gather outside if possible, if you are indoors, open the windows if the weather permits and consider getting a HEPA air purifier. Dr Hanage says it’s important to remember that the risk is not the same for everyone. “If you are going to a Thanksgiving party with older and vulnerable parents, I encourage you to make sure you are vaccinated to try to avoid getting infected as you approach and to take a quick test before entering. . there because it will help ensure that you do not pass the virus on to people who may have serious illnesses, even those who are vaccinated. “
Danica Brown looked forward to reuniting with her entire extended family for Thanksgiving. But then she found out that in order to receive an invitation, she had to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
She said she was reluctant to get the vaccine “because he was so new”. But she decided to get the vaccine. âI literally got it to go to Thanksgiving dinner,â Danica says. She is grateful for spending the day with her family this year.
Experts say we should expect to see an increase in COVID cases after Thanksgiving, but hopefully the consequences will be different from last year as vaccinated people are better protected against serious illnesses, hospitalization. And the dead.