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T'was the Season of COVID

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The holidays bring so much joy and love as people drive/fly near and far to be with their family and loved ones. Christmas trees with presents underneath, stockings hung up by the chimney with care, and mugs filled to the brim with hot chocolate and a whipped cream topping are some of the most memorable and iconic sights of Christmas time and what better way than to see them with your family. With COVID plaguing the world, this may change things for some people which leaves us with the question: should we travel during the holidays?


For me, I believe this is a personal preference. Now, I do realize this is a pretty touchy and polarizing topic that could bring up some conflict and issues, however I am a Public Health graduate and could not pass this subject up. I ask you to first hear me out and not judge others who do the opposite of what you are doing. This is the first time in our lifetime that we have ever experienced anything like this so we're all unsure of how to handle things.


This year has been the longest month of March ever, and when the United States shut down back in spring I thought we would be at home for at most a month...and here we are in December. If you have been quarantining and staying at home all this time, I give you massive applause, that is quite the accomplishment. If traveling during the holidays is something you are incredibly uncomfortable with and would rather be at home, then that is completely fine. If you are traveling during the holidays (within the country), then I believe that is fine too, however I also believe there are protocols to follow before and during your travel.


1. Isolate

Before you start traveling, it's important to keep yourself distanced from people you're not around regularly-you do not want to bring any germs/bacteria that you may run into contact with. If you do come into contact with people you do not see regularly, please be sure to keep your hands clean and do not touch your face without first sanitizing/washing your hands. In addition, be sure not to share the same food or drink, many people have not thought of this but this is another way to transfer bacteria.


2. Sick = Test

If you notice you're not feeling well in the weeks leading up to your travel, please be sure to get tested and get plenty of rest. If you do test positive, please do the responsible thing and stay home. I know it's a bummer, but to save others from getting sick by isolating yourself is a big step in getting rid of this disease. A couple of weeks ago I read an article of this couple who knowingly tested positive for COVID and decided to travel by air anyway. Thankfully the flight staff were astute and noticed they were looking ill so they were escorted off of the plane, however I cannot fathom that this still needs to be addressed: if you're sick stay home.


3. Car Ride

If you are traveling for the holidays, I think it goes without saying that you should travel within your country, not outside. With that being said, I highly recommend traveling by car. I know this is a longer mode of transportation and it's much easier to travel by plane, however it's a far better way to socially distance yourself from others. Plus, car rides can be incredibly fun with tons of podcasts, music, and stops if you're going pretty far. Make it a fun, memorable trip!



4. Social Distancing

I know this will be a hard one, especially when going to visit family, however in any way you can, try to keep your own personal bubble. Try to avoid big groups, instead go and visit your relatives separately-that way you get to see your family with a decreased risk.


5. Germs Out, Masks Out

If you are going to be in a big group of people, wear your mask! It may seem silly when seeing family members, but it's a way to help prevent the spread of germs and may possibly save your family members.


I hope these tips are helpful and may put you at ease. Again to be clear, I am no Medical Doctor, however I am a Public Health graduate and have a great passion for health and overall well-being. This holiday season, it's important to stay healthy and try to avoid the spread of germs as best you can, however it's also important to keep your mind and emotions healthy as well. Being away from family during the holidays is incredibly hard and depression rates have skyrocketed since the start of COVID and quarantine, I believe we cannot let this run our lives however I also believe we have to be responsible and careful when around others.


I hope you all have a safe and blessed holiday season and as always, peace and love 🎄🕊🤍


Christmas day will always be, as long as we have we.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss

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