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    How To Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

    How To Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

    How To Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

    For more information and to find a vaccine near you, visit

    Remember last year about this time? We all sat around the Thanksgiving table and said how thankful we were that our traumatizing year in a global pandemic was almost over. It turns out the year ended successfully, but much to our frustrations, we’re still living with the realities of COVID-19.

    Although there’s some good news – like a growing population of vaccinated people, there’s also some not-so-great news – including hotspots of virus variants that will continue to show up across the country like uninvited guests. "Previous holidays and occasions this year have shown spikes following family gatherings that have led to illness and deaths within families and communities," says Erica Bruen, MD, an Internal medicine physician with SCL Health Medical Group - St. Vincent Healthcare. Luckily, we can still celebrate the holidays if we protect our friends, family members, the community, and ourselves.

    Protect the children

    Remember: kids under 5 are still ineligible to receive vaccinations. Keep that in mind before you start playing around with your nieces and nephews.

    Careful when traveling

    Before you enter the holiday airport chaos, make sure you bring a mask. All airports and airlines require them, whether you’re vaccinated or not. Also, be sure to research the state-specific health regulations of your final destination, and different states may have different rules.

    Mask up if you’re unvaccinated

    The CDC strongly recommends unvaccinated individuals continue wearing masks. If you’re eligible for vaccination, get yours before you travel. It’s still the most effective way to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19.

    Avoid crowded public gatherings indoors

    Even if you’re vaccinated, you can still get a breakthrough case of COVID-19. Especially if the setting is crowded and poorly ventilated, but if you can’t miss a packed Nutcracker performance this year, mask up at the theater.

    Get a booster if you’re eligible

    A booster shot may be eligible for you at this time. Give yourself an extra layer of immunity before you’re around family (especially if you’re over the age of 65).

    For more information and to find a vaccine near you, visit