Thanksgiving is approaching rapidly and, while the pandemic picture is much different from the previous two Thanksgivings, the world is still embroiled in a pandemic with almost 200,000 new cases each day and some 350 daily deaths.
We have far better tools to cope with this including multiple vaccines, new bivalent vaccine boosters, and therapeutics such as Paxlovid. At-home testing kits are easily accessible and most people have some form of immunity from the virus, be it from inoculation, prior infection, or both.
With exceptions such as China and Australia, the latter where mask mandates recently reappeared after a tremendous surge in cases, there are few pandemic restrictions remaining in place, including masking requirements.
What’s important this Thanksgiving, however, is that the United States is fighting a harsh and early flu season and a record number of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, cases along with an average of 44,000 new Covid cases each day and close to 300 daily deaths from the virus.
Here’s how we can protect ourselves when we sit down to a delicious dinner, be it turkey or goose or beef Wellington.
First, if you’re not fully vaccinated and boosted or you are immunocompromised, wear a mask indoors when not eating. If you are in areas with substantial or high Covid transmission – such as the four boroughs of New York City at the present time – wear a mask regardless.
Second, wash your hands. Use soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds at key points in time such as after using the W.C. or before eating. The five hand washing steps are wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry.
Third, get a flu shot and get boosted (or vaccinated) for Covid if you haven’t already. Granted, the vaccines will take up to two weeks to have a full impact but the sooner you get vaccinated, the more protected you’ll be regardless.
Make sure to get sufficient sleep and exercise during the holiday period and, aside from the Thanksgiving feast, eat more healthy options such as fruit and vegetables instead of sweet or salty snacks.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)