Healthy Living: Celebrating Thanksgiving under COVID restrictions


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COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in nearly every county in our state, and because of those increases, we are having to think and act a little differently when it comes to this holiday season.

Dr. Drew Oliveira is the Senior Executive Medical Director with Regence BlueShield. He says a lot of things we would normally do during this time of year can jeopardize the health of loved ones.

“It’s getting colder, we need to be with our friends and loved ones but also remember that is it also flu season and so all of the things that we can do to keep ourselves healthy have become increasingly important.” 

Dr. Oliveira says while it is really tough for us not to have gatherings this thanksgiving, it is important we comply with the governor's latest restrictions

Some of them include having thanksgiving with only the people in your household. If you must have some kind of get-together, the governor says no more than 5 people should be present and the gathering should be held outside. An exception is that people could quarantine for 14 days ahead of the gathering, or they can prove they have tested negative for the virus. 

Dr. Oliveira says COVID is an uninvited guest and we really need to do our part to make sure the virus isn't at our dinner table, "COVID, the virus, doesn’t have legs. It only travels with us, so it goes where we take it.” 

If you do kind of a buffet-style dinner, be sure to have just one person serving the food. Don't congregate in the kitchen, which is pretty typical in most households, and consider sharing recipes, or doing some kind of food swap with people you would typically have around your table so you aren't without some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Dr. Oliveira says these things can help keep the virus from wreaking havoc on people we love most.

“As we think about those who are very vulnerable in our population or our families, remember to wear a mask, stay physically distanced, wash your hands.” 

However you choose to celebrate, things and people will surely be missed, but there is one thing Dr. Oliveira says is really important you don't skip out on, "We need to continue to maintain our own mental health, we need to stay connected to others, whether that is zoom, on the phone, or physically distant.”


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