Don’t take chances with COVID over the holidays

Nov 25, 2020

A message from Jim Hopper, MD – Chief Medical Officer, Family Care Network

The holiday season has arrived and many people are yearning for a “normal” family get together.

For your own safety and the safety of your family, friends, and neighbors, I would like you to consider changing holiday plans to avoid indoor gatherings with food and drink. Many of us have older relatives for whom we worry this might be the last chance to see them at a holiday; it is unfortunate that taking that chance might ensure it is the last time we see them.

Be creative and figure out how to chat briefly with family outside with heaters going, while at least 6 feet apart and wearing masks. Or take a walk in the woods to catch up and connect (while wearing masks). Implore relatives travelling from high-transmission areas to stay home.

The Washington State Coronavirus Response page has ideas for safer gatherings here.

For myself, I am looking up turkey and stuffing recipes for two and dusting off a jigsaw puzzle that has sat in the closet for years. I will have a video “gathering” with my elderly mom and sisters, and another one with my kids.

Between now and the new year, get your flu shot if you haven’t already. Start planning now for other winter holidays that may be under the same restrictions for social gatherings… especially if we can’t get the surge in cases under control.

Many of us are feeling pandemic fatigue and want things to get back to normal, but we aren’t quite there yet. Please take this increase in cases seriously and do your part to slow the spread of COVID by following CDC, state and local guidelines. The choices that we each make affects the health of us all.

The holidays might be different this year, but they can still be special!