We can finally have a mostly “normal” Thanksgiving and connect with our loved ones.
Fifty-three million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving which is just 5% less than pre-pandemic levels. CDC reports 58.8% of Americans are fully vaccinated but just 15% received booster shots, and breakthrough infections – despite death being rare – are occurring and making people sick.
While we may never want to hear the word COVID again, we still need to be smart. Many of us feel safer gathering in our homes, rather than at a restaurant or public space, but experts say we underestimate the risk when it comes to private get-togethers. Homes are now a main source of coronavirus transmission, accounting for up to 70 percent of cases in some areas. Health officials say they believe small home gatherings are fueling the spread of Covid-19 in part because most homes, by design, are poorly ventilated.
The holidays are times we like to relax and spend time with family and friends. And after a hectic 2021 many are looking forward to doing so. If the goal is to have a normal holiday that is also safe for everyone involved there are easy steps to take.
Here are 5 Travel Tips to Make it a Normal and Safe Thanksgiving
- Be as Vaccinated as Possible: Eligible adults should get boosters, children 12-17 should be fully vaccinated and children 5-11 should get at least one shot. This will make everyone as protected as possible.
- Don’t get Cocky, Use Common Sense: Many feel invincible after receiving vaccinations, but we should continue to use common sense. Wear masks on planes as instructed, bring hand sanitizer, and keep distance when it makes sense.
- Respect Your Family Members: Some family members are over COVID completely and others will only gather outside. Some got a booster shot and others are anti-vaccination. After nearly two difficult and divisive years, lets reconnect with love and understanding.
- Holiday Dinners and Parties: If you are hosting or attending an event and are feeling sick stay home. Consider getting COVID-19 tests prior to gathering and to make guests comfortable offer hand sanitizer and an outdoor option in warmer climates.
- Have Fun! We have made tremendous progress with vaccines and antiviral medications. Many who opted not to get vaccinated have already contracted COVID-19. While it is prudent to take some precautions, hopefully this Thanksgiving can feel like “normal.”
Whether attending a Thanksgiving dinner or welcoming dinner guests into your own home, follow the CDC’s general guidelines for reducing the risk of contagion. And don’t forget to follow basic hygiene practices at Thanksgiving dinner, such as covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow and scrubbing your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food.
Short Bio: Jonathan Baktari, MD, CEO of e7health.com is a COVID expert, triple board certified pulmonary and critical care expert