It’s another COVID-19 flu season. How can you protect yourself, how can you tell if it’s flu or COVID-19, and what should you do if you get sick? Here are five tips that can help.
Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us! Dr. Mia Finkelston offers these tips for keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy as you celebrate:
- Keep your guard up against COVID-19. Make sure all the eligible people in the group you’re celebrating with get vaccinated. This helps protect the children who are too young to get the vaccine as well as those who have health conditions that put them at higher risk. And don’t forget these other COVID-19 safety measures:
- Hold activities outdoors, if possible.
- Avoid crowds, especially in places with poor ventilation.
- Wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces if there are a lot of COVID-19 cases in the community or if you’re not fully vaccinated.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you’ve been exposed to someone who has it, get tested and self-isolate from others.
- Follow CDC guidelines if you’re traveling. This includes wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, keeping 6 feet away from people not in your party, and washing your hands frequently. If you’re not vaccinated, the CDC recommends you not travel – but if you must, get a COVID-19 test 1-3 days before your trip and 3-5 days after. Unvaccinated people should also self-quarantine for a full week after traveling. For international travel, follow the requirements and recommendations for your destination.
- Manage stress. There’s a lot on everyone’s to-do lists this time of year, but tasks can seem easier – and celebrations more memorable – if you ask for help. Also, give yourself permission to skip a year – or reinvent – any traditions that are just too time consuming or stressful.
- Make time for fun. Block out time from your holiday prep to participate in hobbies you enjoy. Whether it’s baking cookies or building furniture, try to tune out other holiday demands and focus on the fun of what you’re doing.
- Don’t forget physical activity; it can combat stress and help you burn the calories from those holiday treats. Try to incorporate physical activity into the festivities: Organize a turkey trot, an ornament treasure hunt, a skating party or a stroll to see neighborhood decorations.
- Get your flu shot! It’s not too late – and everyone in the family older than 6 months, with very few exceptions, should get one.
- Share the joy, not the germs: If you’re not feeling well, stay home and don’t host people at your place.
If you do get a cold or the flu, or an upset stomach from too many holiday goodies, remember that LiveHealth Online doctors are as close as your phone, tablet or computer. And we’re available 24/7 – even on holidays. Enjoy – and have a healthy holiday!
Speak to a doctor online about these issues and more
If your child is sneezing and sniffling and has a runny nose, it could be seasonal allergies or it could be a cold. How can you tell the difference – and what can you do to help your child get relief?