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Protecting your family from COVID-19 amid the anxiety of the Pandemic

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Dr. Travis Mickelson with Intermountain Healthcare joined Emily Clark today to discuss the best way’s to deal with the stressful aspect of the upcoming Holidays and also ways to protect your family from COVID-19 amid the anxiety of the pandemic.

While the holidays are approaching fast, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a different aspect to this year’s holiday season. The safety and health of our community should be the main focus as we plan our holiday events, gatherings, and meals.

We want to try and limit the exposure and transmission of the virus to keep people safe and make sure the hospital systems are not being overwhelmed.

Think Smaller Dinner

A low-risk holiday can still include the traditional dinner and all the fixings, but because much of our community transmission is from close friends and extended family, the CDC recommends keeping it to members who live in your household.

This is understandably hard for many of us who enjoy large holiday gatherings of friends and family. But just like we’ve done with so many other events in 2020, it’s time to bring some ingenuity to the holidays, said Dr. Travis Mickelson from the Intermountain Healthcare Behavioral Health Program.

Consider preparing holiday meals and have them delivered to family and friends, especially those at higher risk of illness. You can also connect with friends and loved ones by holding a virtual Thanksgiving meal through video.

Avoid the Shopping Crowds

Black Friday shopping has also become part of the holiday event for some on Thanksgiving or Friday. The CDC has listed these crowded stores as a high-risk area for virus transmission.

This year, consider Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping from the comfort of your home by looking for the deals online.

Here are recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for having a safe Thanksgiving:

  • A low-risk holiday still consists of the traditional dinner, but try to keep it to members who live in your house. A moderate risk dinner would be to have a small gathering outside for dinner with friends and family.
  • This can bring stress and add to depression with missing the extra family members. But one way to help is to try and keep those connections and traditions intact as much as possible.
  • Consider preparing holiday meals and have them delivered to family and friends, especially those at higher risk of illness. Then you can hold a virtual Thanksgiving meal through video.
  • Being apart physically does not mean to be apart socially. Connect with others and find ways to help others through altruistic acts.

Thanksgiving is also a time to express gratitude. Look to the positive and challenge yourself for two weeks to find three positives every day that happened to you. They can be little to large things.  Do this for the two weeks and you can see the difference in your attitude and your gratitude.

It’s important to address your mental well-being. Talk to your doctor or seek out a therapist. Intermountain has a free Emotional Health Relief Hotline, that is available daily from 10 am to 10 pm at 833-442-2211, where anyone can contact a specialist to talk through concerns and seek assistance.

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