Last year, the predominant public health advice before Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings was simple: don’t go, but if you must, be really, really careful. This year, now that all American adults, along with children over age 5, are eligible to receive at least one of an arsenal of highly effective vaccines, many infectious disease experts cautiously acknowledge that the risks of gathering are generally lower.
Still, you would be hard-pressed to find a COVID-19 expert willing to declare Thanksgiving 2021 fully “safe.” The reality, they say, is that there is going to be some amount of risk of spreading the virus; families who are considering gathering will need to decide how much risk they’re willing to accept, both in terms of their own health and those they’ll be spending time with. Being fully immunized against the coronavirus protects against contracting the virus, and significantly lowers the risk of severe illness or death. Many experts said that if people are fully vaccinated, they can enjoy a somewhat normal Thanksgiving. It’s also important to keep in mind not all members of the family may be vaccinated. So keep up the now-familiar pandemic safety measures: social distancing, masking, washing your hands and considering eating outside!
You can also make sure to monitor symptoms after your gathering. Even when the holiday is over and you're back at home, keep an eye out for symptoms in yourself and family members. If you do believe you are showing signs of COVID-19 infection, get a test and alert those who you spent time with during the holiday. The outlook for this year's holiday celebrations look a whole lot brighter! Remember to stay safe but also enjoy the time with the people you love the most. It’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve all been through and look forward to holding our loved ones close!
Happy Thanksgiving from Team ELM
Posts written by the Team ELM family!