It has been a very challenging year living in a COVID world. Tis the season to be jolly and enjoy this holiday season as last year was a write-off. But as the Christmas Season is near, I would like to share some ways on how to protect yourself, the people around you, while following current public health orders.
- Get Vaccinated – the approved vaccines will provide a high degree of protection against serious illness or possible death. But please keep in mind that the vaccine doesn’t fully prevent transmission – if anything it will help lessen the symptoms.
- Booster Shots – as you may have heard on the news that a booster shot is now available. They are advising that people who have underlying conditions and elderly people who are over the age of 60 receive the booster shot, especially during this holiday season.
- Wear a Mask – wearing a mask can help stop people from spreading the virus or droplets containing the virus being inhaled, or coming in contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. It’s important to ensure that you have a properly fitted mask and should either be replaced after each use – if it’s a disposable mask or washed – if it’s a reusable cloth mask.
- Covering up your Sneeze or Cough – Nowadays, it’s good to be prepared and have a package of tissue with you for those days you may have a nagging cough or sneezing fit. Should there be a time when you don’t have any tissue available, it’s good practice and common courtesy with a bent elbow to cough or sneeze into your sleeve – and stay home to reduce the spread.
- Wash your hands – I am a frequent hand-washer and with this pandemic, I’ve become a super hand washer. I don’t know if it’s just me but ever since wearing a mask and washing my hands more often than usual I haven’t gotten sick as much or at all really – knock on wood. I once heard that singing the ABC song while washing your hands was a good benchmark to ensure your hands were clean – or give or take 20 seconds.
- Getting together with Family and Friends – the recommendation is to have social gatherings outside but with Winnipeg weather, I would say that would be rather cold. The first thing before any indoor gathering is to make sure everyone, family or friends, is double vaccinated. If you can’t avoid a crowded space then you should be wearing a mask, keeping a physical distance from one another, and position yourself in well-ventilated areas of the room.
- Social Distancing – Best practice is to keep at least one meter apart from one another, even if that person doesn’t appear to be sick – all the while wearing a mask.
- Checking in with Family and Friends – I think we are all excited to have any type of human contact giving how the previous Christmas was a quiet time at home. But here is something that may also help, doing a health and wellness check with family and friends before starting the event to ensure a safe gathering. Please use your common sense, if someone is sick then that person (s) should stay home and immediately take the COVID-19 Screen Tool online at https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool
From our family to yours, have a wonderful and safe holiday season. On that note, I would like to leave you with a special quote that I believe everyone may agree on:
“The best of all gifts around a Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”