Think in terms of harm reduction. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Just in time for Christmas, COVID is again on the rise. Flu and RSV may be peaking—but remember that there are often as many cases *after* a peak as before it.
As we approach the festive season how can we enjoy precious moments with family and friends while lowering the risk of illness?
Small steps you take to reduce risk are worthwhile. A little bit better…is a little bit better.
And the prevention steps that work for COVID will reduce the risk of RSV, flu, and many other nasty viruses.
Top Nerdy Girl Holiday tips:
Start being more cautious *today* to lower the chances of being sick on Christmas Day.
Wear a mask during those last crowded shopping days, and even at the school holiday concert.
Limit contact with those who are noticeably sick but decided to be out and about anyway- it’s OK to say no to a meet up now to avoid being sick for Christmas.
Stay home if sick.
We know this a gray area with perpetually snotty kids. Try to use your common sense if visiting grandparents, young babies, or other vulnerable loved ones. If anyone feels feverish or really cruddy, that’s a good sign they are contagious with SOME virus you’d rather not pass on.
Rapid test for COVID prior to traveling or gathering. Knowledge is power-don’t bring uninvited viral guests to the holidays. (FREE rapid tests available again in US—see link below).
We know some people are reluctant to test so it doesn’t ruin their travel or other holiday plans. We get it– the Nerdy Girls are also human, and we’re all in the third holiday season of COVID potentially keeping us away from traditions and loved ones.
While ignorance may seem like bliss, we’d encourage you to test EVEN if you plan to still go forward with plans regardless of the outcome. If you know someone is positive, you can be more vigilant with masking, distance, ventilation, etc to prevent passing this along to family members. This is especially important for those who are most vulnerable like babies, older people, or the many who are immunocompromised. If you don’t test, you’ll be more likely to let down your guard and potentially infect Grandpa.
Open windows or hang out outside when weather permits.
Use HEPA filters for additional protection.
For tips on improving home ventilation, check out this resource.
Masks (N95/KN95 quality) effectively block inhalation and exhalation of COVID AND other respiratory viruses. Masking during travel can help protect yourself and others even if you don’t mask during family events. Use strategic masking if you find yourself developing symptoms during your holiday.
Wash hands and disinfect high touch surfaces.
While COVID dominates the air rather than hands, RSV and many other germs last longer on surfaces. Break out that hand sanitizer and those Lysol wipes again, especially before eating (but old-fashioned soap and water works great too).
Get your COVID booster AND flu shot. It’s never too late to protect yourself for the rest of the Winter.
Use Paxlovid! If you or a family member over age 50 (or otherwise at risk) test positive for COVID, get Paxlovid. Don’t be afraid of rebound– it’s extremely effective at keeping people out of the hospital and not dead.
Speak to your doctor or look for a Test to Treat location here.
Enjoy your loved ones and be thankful. Gratitude is healthy for the body and the soul.
Every little bit of prevention counts. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!
Those Nerdy Girls