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Holiday Season Health List

Holiday Season Health List

COVID-19 Resources: Staying Healthy, Vaccines, and the Holidays

Written by Emily Durham, MS, CPhT

11/06/2020

   The holidays are now only weeks away, and many people are looking to medical and public health professionals for guidance and updates. The hardest part of living in a pandemic is the uncertainty of returning to “normal life”.  I’ve compiled some resources for our Mezza ladies to stay informed to make the best decisions for their life and families.

   After speaking to many medical professionals about COVID-19, it seems like the overwhelming majority have very simple recommendations to staying healthy.  In addition to socially distancing and wearing masks, they recommend eating a balanced diet, sleeping at least 7 hours per night, staying hydrated, and regularly exercising.  These four simple lifestyle choices will keep you mentally and physically healthy.  Our pharmacists also highly recommend getting your flu shot as soon as possible.  If you’re interested in exploring vitamins and minerals, click here to check out our online store and do not hesitate to call our pharmacists if you have questions.

  Mental health is also just as important as physical health, especially during the holiday season. The Center for Disease Control recently reported that nearly 40% of Americans are struggling with mental health and substance use1.  Many people are feeling depressed and isolated, so your kindness could be their strength.  One of my favorite “comebacks” during this pandemic has been the art of writing cards and notes to loved ones.  Sending a simple note or card to a lonely senior or distant family member could have a lasting impact.  Archer Paper Goods in Ponce City Market (..and online) has a beautiful selection of stationary and unique holiday cards.

   One of the topics of discussion in our home has been how will we be celebrating for the holidays.  We have been brainstorming with our family and friends unique ways to celebrate this year.  The key to making plans this holiday season to discuss and asses the risks of each event.

This risk assessment guidance from the CDC has been very helpful to our family:

Lower risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) along with many other national health institutes implemented Operation Warp Speed at the start of the pandemic to manage the production and delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine. There are approximately 150 COVID-19 vaccines that are in a variety of stages of development all over the world, and about a dozen in clinical trials in the US. My advice on staying updated on vaccine information is being very careful where you get your news. There is a ton of misinformation on social media surrounding the intention and safety of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Here are a couple agencies to follow for accurate COVID-19 vaccine updates:

  1. Center for Disease Control:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html

  1. Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/explaining-operation-warp-speed/index.html
  2. National Institutes of Health:

https://www.nih.gov/coronavirus

  1. Food and Drug Administration:

https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines#news

Additional Resources

  1. Mental Health – https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm
  2. Archer Paper Goods: https://archerpaper.com
  3. Integrity Compounding Pharmacy – Supplement Store: https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/integrity

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