Is COVID-19 Coming for the Holidays?
During a rare free moment this month, I was able to visit my cosmetologist for a little bit of rare pampering. As we sat together – our conversation muffled by our masks – she made a funny little quip.
“Oh, ‘Rona,” she proclaimed. “Are we going to be buying you a holiday gift this year?”
This funny little quip made light of a serious question that we are all wondering. After six long months, we are still dealing with “‘Rona,” which she playfully calls the novel coronavirus for short. Should we be planning to share our Thanksgiving and other winter holidays that follow with ‘Rona this year?
Fall and Winter COVID-19 Expectations
As I sat there contemplating my cosmetologist’s playful question, I had to seriously ask myself: “what should our fall and winter COVID-19 expectations be?”
All signs point towards much of the same for the seasons ahead. Over the past six months, things have changed dramatically and we have adapted to what we now call the “new normal.”
For some, a new normal might look like refraining from large gatherings or dining out. For me, it looks like becoming a virus-fighting handywoman with my hand sanitizer dangling from my belt loop and my thermal thermometer peeking out of my back pocket. My car, handbag, desk drawer, and laptop bag are all filled with multiple types of masks, disinfectant wipes, and various types of sanitizers.
In any case, we can expect this virus to continue through fall and winter.
What should we do to prepare for the upcoming fall and winter months?
The experts at both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that we continue to practice social distancing. We must continue to wear masks in public spaces and we must continue to wash our hands frequently throughout the day. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent and let down our guard against this virus.
With flu season approaching, we are faced with another risk. We cannot even begin to understand the impact that a wide-spread outbreak of influenza alongside COVID-19 would have. But I can easily predict that it would be devastating.
Our hospitals and healthcare workers can only be stretched so far and we must do our part to help them. Vaccinating ourselves and our loved ones for the flu is critical. Most of us are very familiar with the impact that influenza has every year. This year will be no exception. Getting the flu vaccine and practicing good hygiene is more important than ever and especially healthcare providers, those whom reside in residential care facilities, suffer from compromised immune systems, chronic diseases and those with life limiting illnesses.
It is, however, not all doom and gloom.
We’ve been hearing in the media that the US Surgeon General and the CDC are instructing state leaders “just in case” to “gear up” for mass vaccinations for COVID-19 – possibly as soon as November. The trials seem to be going quite well. This could have a dramatic impact on the virus and will hopefully save lives as well as livelihoods that continue to suffer from this pandemic.
But until this virus is either well-managed and the number of cases drop dramatically, a vaccine is available for mass immunization, or until some miracle occurs and the virus is gone for good, we must continue to do our part. ‘Rona, as some call this virus, is not a welcome visitor. But it will most likely be attending our holiday festivities – so we must continue to fight it together and do our part to help reduce the chances of spreading this to others so we can all enjoy the changing of seasons and holidays yet to come.
DeAnna Looper, RN, CHPN, CHPCA, LNC. CHC, CPCO
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care
Chief Compliance Officer
To learn more about Crossroads’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, give us a call at 1-888-564-3405.
If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2020 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved.