You will likely be spending Christmas with friends and family. With the Omicron variant spreading, doctors are asking you to be cautious and to do what you can to avoid spreading coronavirus.
Dr. Scott Stienecker, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist who practices in Ft. Wayne, said the best advice is to follow some common sense rules and suggestions.
“Number one: don’t go to gatherings beyond your immediate social bubble, if possible. Number two: mask up, America. Vaccinate and booster. Number three: wash your hands, a lot. Put sanitizer out everywhere,” he said. “Stay in small groups as much as possible. If at a larger party, socialize with your immediate family group and don’t spend intimate time with everyone.”
Stienecker said you should respect the elderly and the immuno-compromized, first by staying away if you are sick.
“Place the most susceptible people upwind. That’s grandma or great grandma. How do you know what’s upwind? A strip of toilet paper of a piece of Kleenex will show the direction of wind currents,” he said. He added that you should make sure the room has plenty of circulation and ventilation.
As much as it may hurt, Stienecker says you should avoid hugging and kissing, which are easy ways to spread any illness.
“Play games. Make sure everybody sanitizes their hands before playing,” he said. “Avoid large gatherings, weddings, funerals, concerts, densely packed indoor spaces, with people not in your social bubble. That’s where we are seeing the huge drive right now.”
Stienecker said that if you must throw a party, consider using small tables, spaced out in multiple rooms, each with their own serving bowls instead of one large table and one food line.
“Wash those hands,” he said.