Trick, Treat, and Travel Tips for Safe Holidays

Oct. 29, 2021 — We’re in a greater place this 12 months for having fun with the vacations safely in comparison with a 12 months in the past. Trick-or-treating is a go this weekend, worldwide family and friends can go to the U.S. once more staring Nov. 8, and the widespread adoption of COVID-19 precautions and protections, particularly vaccines, will increase the chance for protected gatherings, stated Henry Wu, MD.

“I can not consider it has been a 12 months since I final talked about this. Much more, I am actually amazed at how a lot better form we’re in proper now,” Wu stated throughout a Thursday media briefing sponsored by the Emory College College of Medication in Atlanta. “We have discovered a lot up to now 12 months about COVID-19 and the way it spreads.”

“I do see a visual path in the direction of a protected vacation [season], one which we are able to take pleasure in whereas minimizing the dangers of COVID-19 to ourselves and our households,” stated Wu, director of the Emory TravelWell Heart.

Launch the Ghosts and Goblins

When it comes to excellent news for Halloween 2021, contaminated surfaces are much less of a priority for coronavirus transmission now than they had been early within the pandemic.

“So I would not fear a lot concerning the treats your youngsters get. Simply ensure their arms are clear,” Wu stated.

The identical hand hygiene goes for folks handing out treats to trick-or-treaters, too.

One other constructive issue is that trick-or-treating is a just about an outside occasion. And out of doors occasions that aren’t packed or crowded are usually safer than different varieties of get-togethers, Wu stated.

“Going door to door for trick-or-treating is definitely a protected exercise,” he stated.

In bulletins earlier this month, each Anthony Fauci, MD, and Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, agreed. Fauci, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, acknowledged that trick-or-treating is safe this Halloween.

The CDC just lately up to date its guidelines for safer holidays throughout COVID-19 on Oct. 15, and on Oct. 25, Walensky inspired youngsters to placed on their costumes, keep exterior, and enjoy trick-or-treating this 12 months.

Additionally, for folks handing out sweet, take into account protecting measures. For instance, Wu stated, “you’ll be able to reassure your trick-or-treaters by carrying masks that you’ve got their security in thoughts.”

Some probably riskier traditions should wait. For instance, “hygiene is certainly essential. In fact, I am undecided how many individuals nonetheless bob for apples, however I believe even earlier than the pandemic, I’d not have been too fast to take part in that.”

Layer Up Garments and Protections

Hold the fundamentals in thoughts to restrict publicity to coronavirus, and the extra protections, the merrier.

“Keep in mind, you’ll be able to increase your protections utilizing all the fundamental preventive measures that we’re all accustomed to, like masking when in high-risk conditions and avoiding crowded indoor areas,” Wu stated.

“Similar to layering up our garments in chilly climate, you’ll be able to layer up your protections towards COVID.”

Additionally, as a result of breakthrough infections are attainable among the many vaccinated, take into account masking if a buddy or member of the family is immunocompromised or has a better threat situation, Wu stated. As an added precaution, everybody getting collectively can comply with get examined beforehand.

“I actually do assume it is essential to see your loved ones, notably the frail ones who haven’t been capable of get out,” Wu added. “So I’d simply encourage people to take pleasure in themselves, however to reap the benefits of as many layers as they’ll.”

Journey Ideas

If you’re planning to journey for the vacations, Wu beneficial getting vaccinated if you’re eligible. Additionally, analysis the COVID-19 necessities at residence and the place you’re going upfront.

“Be aware that if you’re an unvaccinated, you will have to get examined earlier than and after your journey,” Wu stated.

Testing can be required for American vacationers returning to the U.S., vaccinated or not.

Additionally, beginning Nov. 8, the U.S. authorities plans to permit worldwide guests to enter the nation if they’re vaccinated.

“That is an thrilling time as a result of so many people have household and buddies who’ve been unable to go to us,” Wu stated. “Let’s be good hosts and let’s welcome our guests by getting vaccinated.”

Grateful for Vaccines

And talking of being a very good host, if you’re planning a vacation get together or get-together, “plan your occasions in order that they’re protected after which folks can take pleasure in themselves comfortably,” Wu stated.

If you’re having a celebration, hold your numbers decrease or hold it exterior, for instance.

Once more, it’s best to be vaccinated when you’re planning a household get-together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or one other vacation within the coming months.

“Keep in mind, the extra households which might be collectively … will increase the probabilities that somebody is ailing,” Wu stated.

Cut back that threat by getting vaccinated and inspiring family and friends to do the identical, he added.

Causes for Optimism

When requested if potential FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in youngsters 5 to 11 years outdated might make a distinction this vacation season, Wu replied, “Nicely, definitely the extra individuals which might be vaccinated, the safer it will likely be. And we definitely do know youngsters can get COVID-19 they usually can unfold it.”

“I encourage people to observe the information and discuss to their physicians when these vaccines are permitted to see if it is sensible to have your loved ones vaccinated,” he stated.

General, though there are causes to have a good time this vacation season, the pandemic will not be over but. “Keep in mind, we’re not but at some extent the place we are able to do all the pieces like we used to do earlier than the pandemic. So let’s not make the error of letting our guard down too quickly,” Wu stated.

“Then again, we actually do have instruments to manage the pandemic, and safely achieve this a lot that we missed out on final 12 months.”

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