COVID-19: How You Can Make Fall And Winter Better, Celebrate And Enjoy The Holidays!
By the end of December, a pandemic could kill over 2,900 people a day in the US, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a smart approach, researchers say you can defy their grim projections.
Why is the fall/winter outlook so bad?
Health experts say colder weather, the flu season; reopened schools and pandemic fatigue are the most difficult months yet in the fight against COVID-19.
"There's good enough data to say that aerosol transmission (of coronavirus) does occur," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Outbreaks in schools and on college campuses:
Many schools that brought students back to classrooms are suffering from outbreaks that could keep growing in the coming months. And once students and teachers get infected, they can unknowingly spread the virus in their communities.
We are nowhere near herd immunity, and a vaccine probably won't be publicly available until the middle of 2021.Until then, the daily US death toll is expected to steadily climb through the end of this year.There are 2-main reasons for that projected surge, IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said.
"First, as case counts have come down in some states, we tend to see that people become less careful, they tend to have more contact," he said. "But then the most important effect is the seasonality of the virus -- that people go indoors, transmission happens more.
"That's why our model shows the huge surge that we really expect to take off in October and accelerate in November in December.”
How do we prevent this fall/winter surge?
Just because the COVID-19 is still here doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fall and winter.
- Stay outside and Limit your interactions at indoor venues.
- If you do have gatherings, invest in ways to keep them outdoors -- perhaps with a warm coat, a heat lamp, or with a fire pit.
- Wear a mask: Health experts say wearing a face mask with two or more breathable layers is the easiest and most effective way of reining in the virus.Masks prevent you from exhaling viral particles without your knowledge. It could also help save tens of thousands of lives, experts say.
- If you visit friends or family, does it wisely: It's also a good idea to get tested before seeing loved ones. But don't get a false sense of security with negative test results.
- If you must travel for the holidays, cut out risky behavior, such as dining at restaurants indoors or getting in close contact with people you don't live with.
Find fun ways to celebrate the holidays safely:
This season doesn't have to be doom and gloom. In fact, the CDC offers a long list of ways to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving safely.
Instead of Halloween parties or trick-or-treating, the CDC suggests carving pumpkins with your family or with friends and neighbors, at a safe distance.
CDC said, “For Thanksgiving, celebrate by having a virtual dinner with friends or family from afar”
You can also help loved ones who are at high risk for Covid-19 or those who are feeling isolated by preparing traditional Thanksgiving dishes "and delivering them in a way that doesn't involve contact with others."