Prepare, Be Patient, Be Present: Tips for Another COVID Holiday

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Dec. 15, 2021 -- 'Tis the play -- again -- for holiday travel and get-togethers with friends and household amid the challenges of a planetary pandemic. Yes, idiosyncratic and nationalist extortion measures stay essential, but that doesn't mean you person to beryllium a Scrooge astir traveling and spending clip with loved ones.

You tin inactive bask gatherings and different vacation traditions if you prepare, stay patient, and retrieve to see the comfortableness level of others, infectious illness experts said astatine a media briefing Wednesday sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

"Here's my applicable proposal for this vacation play … effort to lucifer up the hazard simplification practices that you tin prolong with the activities that you consciousness are going to prolong you," said Joshua Barocas, MD, an subordinate prof of medicine astatine the University of Colorado School of Medicine successful Aurora.

Consider layering protections specified arsenic masks, testing, moving activities outdoors, and much -- adjusting what you bash based connected however risky each concern is.

"Ultimately, the higher the hazard situation, the much idiosyncratic extortion you request to support yourself steadfast -- and the little the hazard situation, the little mitigation you need," said Barocas, who is besides an Infectious Diseases Society member.

The multi-layered attack is peculiarly important arsenic uncertainty astir the Omicron variant circulates crossed the U.S.

Facts astir Omicron are inactive limited, helium said.

"But what we bash cognize is that this variant does look to transmit much rapidly.

“Its severity is truthfully yet unknown. But present we are," said Barocas.

"We're each benignant of waiting to spot however this each unfolds," Romney M. Humphries, PhD, said during the briefing. "Many of america are a small concerned, obviously, conscionable to spot precisely what the data” shows astir however terrible Omicron is and however good it tin evade vaccines.

It's Also Cold and Flu Season

The holidays are traditionally a clip erstwhile different respiratory viruses besides get similar an unwelcome alien astatine the door. For galore who make symptoms astatine the extremity of 2021, the earthy archetypal question is, “What bash I have?”

"We person a batch of different circulating viruses this season, specified arsenic influenza. But also, we're seeing an atrocious batch of rhinovirus, which causes the communal cold," said Humphries, aesculapian manager of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory astatine Vanderbilt University Medical Center successful Nashville.

Dual investigating is simply a valid strategy, she said. "If you bash person immoderate symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, the attack these days should truly beryllium tested for some of those viruses -- COVID-19 and the flu."

"I person a kid astatine home, and truthful I did person a acold past week," said Humphries, who is besides a subordinate of the Infectious Diseases Society. She said investigating is "certainly worthy it, not lone for yourself and your ain health, but besides for each of those astir you."

Pack Some Patience and Empathy

Holiday question tin beryllium stressful adjacent successful a non-pandemic year. Add COVID-19 to the equation, and well, beryllium diligent and admit that everyone is coming disconnected astir 2 years of further challenges, the experts advise.

"We are each frustrated. We are each tired, we are each conscionable done," Barocas said.

It is important to retrieve that the idiosyncratic moving the summons antagonistic astatine the airport, the market store employee, the idiosyncratic moving astatine the movie theatre -- "they're not the ones making the rules, they're simply doing their occupation by enforcing them."

"In the tone of trying to unify, I inquire radical to effort to refrain from taking that immense vexation retired connected them."

International question could summation this vacation play aft the Biden medication lifted question bans connected 33 countries connected Nov. 8.

"I cognize galore of america are considering traveling to spot household that we've not seen for, astatine this point, for respective years," Humphries said. "My household is extracurricular the United States, and I person not seen them for implicit 2 years."

Staying isolated has been a challenge, she said. "This is truly difficult, peculiarly for those of america that person aging parents oregon person precise young nieces and nephews -- wherever a mates of years tin marque a tremendous difference."

Test Preparation

It's much indispensable than ever to hole successful beforehand for traveling, Humphries said. With updated requirements that tin see a antagonistic COVID-19 trial wrong 24 hours of aerial travel, for example, guarantee that you tin get a test.

"As we look towards the vacation season, unfortunately, we are expecting to possibly spot immoderate tiny surges of COVID-19," Humphries said.

This could impact section investigating capacity, however galore tests are available, and turnaround clip for results.

"If you're needing a trial for travel, marque definite you hole for that good successful advance,” Humphries said.

Also admit that a antagonistic viral trial is required for re-entry to the U.S.

"So not an antibody test, but a trial for the microorganism itself, wrong 24 hours of your departure for accomplishment into the United States by air," she said.

A location trial lone counts erstwhile done successful beforehand of a wellness attraction supplier during a telehealth visit, she added.

And for bid of mind, radical tin see taking different trial aft returning location from traveling.

"But absolutely, if you person symptoms, you should see being tested for COVID," Humphries said. "Even if you are vaccinated, due to the fact that we are inactive seeing important circulation."

And whether you’re traveling to spot friends oregon household oregon hosting a vacation gathering, work the room. It is important to beryllium alert of and respect everyone's level of comfortableness with the imaginable COVID-19 exposure.

"We're each astatine antithetic levels," Humphries said.

Some people, for example, are comfy going retired to meal if they are vaccinated, but others are not.

New Year's Resolutions

While accepted resolutions similar losing weight oregon exercising much are ever to beryllium applauded, an antithetic twelvemonth mightiness telephone for immoderate antithetic resolutions. WebMD asked the infectious illness specialists for their ain New Year's resolutions astatine this constituent successful the COVID-19 pandemic.

"To absorption connected our intelligence wellness much done the adjacent year," Humphries said. "I deliberation we could each benignant of admit … it's been a pugnacious mates of years."

She hopes to instrumentality the clip for self-care and admit the value of intelligence wellness "not conscionable for myself, but for my kid that wasn't capable to spell to schoolhouse and is inactive benignant of successful this weird place."

Spending much clip unneurotic is different extremity for 2022, she said, which includes "making definite that we're taking the clip arsenic a household to bask each other's company."

Barocas agreed connected the value of spending clip with household successful 2022 and added 2 much resolutions.

"One is knowing different people's concern a small spot more. We person precise overmuch mislaid our way, I believe, successful in this full mess,” helium said.

Everyone is having a batch of strife and accent astatine the moment, helium said.

"Keeping successful caput that the idiosyncratic adjacent to you is suffering successful the aforesaid mode that you mightiness be, mightiness beryllium a bully secondary New Year's resolution,” Barocas said.

His different New Year's solution is simply a plea.

"If you are unvaccinated, I would resoluteness to person conversations, open-ended conversations, astir the vaccine, astir vaccination and the value of it," Barocas said. "So that possibly you tin determination towards vaccination."

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