Most parts of the country are currently experiencing a coronavirus surge. This uptick comes at a very bad time. Many health care workers, and health care facilities, are showing some signs of strain.
Furthermore, Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year. Many college students head home, and many families plan large gatherings.
At Napoli Shkolnik, we normally help people recover when they get seriously ill, and that illness is not their fault.
Toxic exposure cases due to poisoned drinking water and 9/11 smoke and dust spring immediately to mind.
But an ounce of prevention is usually worth a pound of cure. So, in that spirit, here are some ways you and your family can have a semi-normal Thanksgiving holiday and stay safe at the same time.
Wash Your Hands
Many family members and friends have said they’ve washed their hands more in the last six months than they have in their entire lives.
Handwashing is the simplest and most effective way to prevent the spread of germs, including coronavirus germs. If soap and water are unavailable, use a 60 percent alcohol hand sanitizer.
Limit Surface Contact
In normal times, people who wipe tables, doorknobs, grocery store carts, and other surfaces before touching them are a bit OCD. But these are not normal times. Keep a travel-size package of wipes in your purse or pocket.
Don’t Touch Your Face
According to a recent study, most people touch their faces about two dozen times an hour.
About half those touches are near the nose. Other than hand washing, avoiding face touching is perhaps the best way to control germ spread. Try using a stress ball or other small object to occupy your hands.
Avoid Contact with Sick People
Once again, in normal times, it’s somewhat rude to obviously avoid people who do not look well. But these are not normal times. People should understand if you keep your distance.
The same advice applies for people who are sick. If you do not feel well, avoid close contact, or better yet, stay home.
Wear a Mask
Most restaurants, hotels, common carriers (planes, trains, buses, and so on), ridesharing vehicles, and other public places have mandatory mask requirements.
If you do not want to wear one, and you do not want to make a big scene, you should stay home.
Avoid Close Contact
In a controversial move, the Centers for Disease Control recently changed its “close contact” definition.
The boundary is now being within six feet of someone with the virus, whether the person has symptoms or not, for at least fifteen minutes in any twenty-four-hour period.
Be Mindful of Your Destination
Many jurisdictions require out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine for fourteen days. Others require these people to pass health screening tests or present negative test results upon arrival.
Regardless of the restrictions, everyone should think twice about travelling to an area with a high infection rate. And, at this time, that’s most of the places in the country.
For Thanksgiving 2020, a negative coronavirus test is almost like a passport.
A negative test makes it much easier to travel and also gives you peace of mind. But do not put too much stock in the result. You could have been exposed to the virus between the date of the test and the current date. And, no coronavirus test is 100 percent accurate.
Purchase Travel Insurance
Health insurance usually covers at least some COVID claims.
But out-of-network fees are usually quite high. And, health insurance usually does not cover ancillary costs, such as an emergency trip home. Travel insurance usually pays these bills, giving you additional peace of mind.
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
Much like handwashing and face-touching, this simple precaution helps preserve your physical health, and the physical health of people around you.
Respiratory etiquette also makes other people feel better. And, during a global pandemic, emotional health is about as important as physical health.
At Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. For more health tips, or if you got sick in a public place, reach out to us now.