Covid Update for Christmas 2020

We continue to see increased spread of Covid in our community and schools. I am also seeing the increase among my patients especially over the last few days. As Christmas is just a week away, I wanted to offer my take on how I will be spending the Holidays.

Vaccine Information
First let me say something about the vaccine. I am following the release of the vaccine and have attended the state health department and the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) webinars on how the vaccine will be rolled out across the state and country. It will be released in phases to different segments of the public. Right now it is going to front line healthcare workers and long term care facilities. As it becomes more available I will be giving you more guidance. I plan to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to me. For a good FAQ on the vaccine see the following: AAFP Vaccine FAQ

How I plan to spend a Pandemic Christmas

In a normal Christmas season, this coming weekend would be full of parties and other festive activities. We would attend parties for the extended family on both sides of the family. But in this pandemic year, we are doing these parties through zoom meetings.

On Christmas morning we normally would have a large breakfast with my mom and step-dad, my husband’s parents, as well as my sister-in-law’s family and my brother. This year we are going to take presents to them on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  We will meet them on the porch or outside to exchange gifts. We will not be having our large breakfast with everyone gathered around the table. I hate that but it is just too risky. I would hate to find out later that I carried the virus and potentially infected my entire family.

Risk Minimization
The New York Times had an excellent writeup on risk minimization. The full article can be found here. I will try and summarize the article below.

  1. Eliminate spending time in confined spaces (out of your own house) where anyone is unmasked.

    That means don’t eat indoors at a restaurant or a friend’s house. If you have to fly, try not to eat or drink on the plane. Basically we know that eating and drinking with people outside your immediate family has led to the spread of the virus.

  2. Minimize the time you spend indoors with people outside your immediate family, especially in crowds, even if you are all masked. Masks aren’t perfect. Find an alternate way to work out. Attend your church services remotely. Doing this will reduce your risk.

  3. Some things are not as risky.

    You don’t need to wear a mask when you go for a walk or a jog.  And please do get out and exercise. Canton is expanding the walking trail at Etowah River park. While not completely open yet we were able to venture on it one weekend and it adds a mile and half of wide level walking trails along the river.

    You should also not be worried about doing your errands. It is ok to visit the grocery store, pharmacy or another store. Just wear your mask, keep your distance from others and wash your hands afterward.

So please find some safe activities to enjoy with your family and friends over the next few weeks. Know that we are here if you need us.

We love our Harmony Family and want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Dr. Neely

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