Oct. 29, 2021 — This year, we are in a better position to enjoy the holidays safely than a year ago. Henry Wu, MD, stated that trick-or-treating can be done this weekend. International friends and family can also visit the U.S. starting Nov. 8. The widespread adoption of COVID-19 precautions increases the likelihood of safe gatherings.
“I can’t believe it has been a year since my last conversation about this. Wu spoke at a Thursday media briefing sponsored in part by Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. Wu stated that she is even more amazed at how much better we are right now. “We’ve learned so many things in the past year about COVID-19, and how it spreads.”
Wu, director Emory TravelWell Center, stated that he sees a clear path to a safe holiday season. One that is enjoyable while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 for our families and ourselves.
Release the Ghosts & Goblins
The good news is that coronavirus transmission is now less likely to be transmitted on contaminated surfaces than it was during the pandemic.
“So I wouldn’t worry too much about the treats your kids get. Wu stated that they should just wash their hands.
Hand hygiene is also important for trick-or-treaters who hand out treats.
Another plus is that trick-or treating is an outdoor event. Wu stated that outdoor events that aren’t crowded or packed tend to be safer than other types.
He said, “Going door-to-door for trick-or treating is definitely a safe activity.”
In earlier announcements this month, both Anthony Fauci and Rochelle Walensky, MDs, MPH, affirmed their agreement. Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAIID), stated that trick-or treating is safe for Halloween.
The CDC updated its guidelines regarding safer holidays during COVID-19 in October 15. Walensky encouraged children to don their costumes and stay outside to enjoy trick-or treating this year.
Consider protective measures for those who hand out candy. Wu stated that masks can be worn to ensure safety for trick-or-treaters.
Some traditions that could be more dangerous will need to be put on hold. Hygiene, for example, is very important. Although I don’t know how many people still bob apples, I believe that even before the pandemic, it would have been too risky to do so.
Layer up your protections and clothes
To limit your exposure to coronavirus, keep the following things in mind.
Wu stated, “Remember, it’s possible to augment your protections by using all the basic preventive steps that we all know about, such as masking in high-risk situations or avoiding crowded indoor spaces.”
“Like layering our clothes in cold weather, we can layer up our protections against COVID.”
Wu stated that breakthrough infections can occur among the vaccinated. Wu suggested that you mask any friend or family member who is immunocompromised, or has a higher-risk condition. Everyone can agree to have their blood tested before they get together.
Wu said, “I believe it’s important for you to see your family, especially the frail ones who are unable to get out.” “So I encourage people to have fun, but to make the most of all that they can.
Wu recommends getting vaccinated if your travel plans include holidays. You should also research the COVID-19 requirements in your country and where you are going before you go.
Wu stated, “Note: If you are unvaccinated, it is necessary to have your vaccinations tested before and after you travel.”
American travelers who are returning to the U.S. must also undergo testing, whether they have been vaccinated or unvaccinated.
The U.S. government will allow international visitors to enter the country starting Nov. 8 if they have been vaccinated.
Wu stated, “This is a very exciting time as so many of our family and friends have been unable to visit us.” Let’s be good hosts, and let’s make our guests feel welcome by getting vaccinated.
Thankful for Vaccines
Wu stated that being a good host is key to a holiday party’s success.
If you are throwing a party, limit your guests or make it outside.
It is a good idea to get vaccinated if your family plans a family gathering for Christmas, Hanukkah, Hanukkah or another holiday in the future.
Wu stated, “Remember, the greater the likelihood that someone is ill, the more households are together.”
He suggested that you can reduce the risk by getting vaccinated, and encouraging your family and friends to do so.
Reasons to Optimism
Wu was asked if the FDA approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 years could make a difference during the holiday season. Wu responded, “Well, certainly, the more people that are vaccinated the safer it will be.” We know that children can get COVID-19, and they can spread it.
He said, “I encourage people to watch the news and talk with their doctors when these vaccines have been approved to see whether it makes sense to get your family vaccinated.”
Overall, there are many reasons to celebrate the holiday season, but the pandemic isn’t over yet. “Remember, we’re not at the point where we can do everything as we did before the pandemic. Wu stated that we should not let our guard down too quickly.
“On the other side, we do have the tools to control the pandemic and do so safely, which is something we missed last year.”
WebMD Health News
News briefing, Emory College of Medicine, Atlanta, Nov. 28, 20,21
(C) 2021 WebMD LLC. All rights reserved.
Original Source: webmd.com
New GR Pharmacy to Serve Spanish-speaking Patients
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — By the end of the year, Grand Rapids’ Roosevelt Park neighborhood will have a new pharmacy.
Trinity Health Clinica Santa Maria began construction Monday morning on the $1.5 million project. The new pharmacy will include both walk-up and drive-thru services.
Trinity Health Clinica Santa Maria practice leader Kameron Selleck it will offer convenience in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a pharmacy close in proximity, making it challenging for patients to get their prescriptions in a timely manner.
“A lot of our patients do encounter a lot of social barriers in their lives,” Selleck said.
He added that a language barrier can make it difficult patients to get their prescriptions. He said nearly every employee at Clinica Santa Maria is bilingual in Spanish and the plan is for that trend to carry over to new pharmacy and pharmacy tech hires.
“I think this project was announced almost five years ago, so it’s here,” Selleck said. “I just really encourage the community to be as excited as we are.
The pharmacy is at 730 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW (formerly Grandville Avenue) at Martin Luther King Jr. Street (formerly Franklin Street) in Grand Rapids. It will be the seventh Trinity Health pharmacy in the Grand Rapids area, with the other locations being Cathedral Square, the Wege Building at Trinity Heath Saint Mary’s, Hudsonville, Rockford, Byron Center and Southeast Grand Rapids.
Original Post: woodtv.com
Tulip Time Crowds Encouraging for Returning Festivals
HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Tulip Time saw big crowds this year as it returned to a more regular schedule.
The event was cancelled in 2020 and scaled back last year because of the pandemic.
The heat caused challenges for the 2022 festival. The Tulip Immersion Garden, a new attraction, had to close early because the hot temperatures caused too much damage to the flowers, Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda said.
“They don’t like 80 degree, 90 degree weather. Tulips prefer it to be about 40 at night, 60 to 70, maybe 80 during the day,” Auwerda said.
The organization is working on final numbers but saw attendance return to pre-pandemic levels.
“I do know that the carnival exceeded 2019 by 25 to 30%, so that was fabulous for them and it was packed everywhere in town,” Auwerda said.
Kevin Knight, the owner of Market Zero, said the festival definitely provided a boost as they worked to keep up with demand.
“It’s a huge kick off to your summer season,” Knight said. “Our fridges were completely full and got completely empty and completely full and completely empty, so it was about everything we could handle.”
Market Zero in downtown Holland on May 16, 2022. Inside Market Zero in downtown Holland on May 16, 2022.
The return of crowds could be good sign for other events coming back this summer, like the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids. Mark Azkoul, an organizer for the event that began in 1970, sees the success of Tulip Time as encouraging.
“We’ve been out for two years so this is a big thing for us and for the city to get Festival back up and going,” Azkoul said.
Organizers created the Plein Air event for 2021, which combined outdoor art and music.
The 2022 event runs June 3 through June 5. After taking a break because of the pandemic the festival needs extra help.
“A lot of people still don’t know yet festival is coming back, so we really want to get the word out. We need more volunteers,” Azkoul said.
People interested in volunteering can sign up on the Festival of the Arts website.
Mom Does ‘small Part’ to Help Parents Who Need Formula
HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Though there appears to an end of the baby formula shortage in sight, it’s still causing problems for parents, so a mother in Holland did what she could to help.
Abbott Nutrition has announced its entered into an agreement with the federal Food and Drug Administration to restart its Sturgis plant within two weeks. The closure of that plant has been a huge contributing factor to the shortage. The company expects its products to ship to stores eight weeks after production resumes.
But for now, many parents can’t find the formula they need. The low supply has some stores limiting the number of formulas customers can purchase, adding that they are in “extraordinary high” demand.
The baby formula shelves at a Meijer in Holland.
So Caitlin Dampier, a mother of two whose youngest is a 3-month-old girl, stepped up to help where she could.
“I really wish I could help out more, but this is just my small part,” Dampier said.
She got a box of Enfamil formulas that she’s not using because she’s breastfeeding.
“When you’re pregnant, you get free samples and so I thought I would just offer mine for free for mothers who need them,” Dampier said. “I kept it around in case I wasn’t able to breastfeed.”
Dampier made a post on Facebook this week directed at parents who can’t find formula. The box she received included three cans of Enfamil formulas and two ready-made formulas.
Two mothers reached out to her, including Kourtney Hann, another Holland resident. She’s one of thousands of mothers across the country who have had to go to great lengths to find food for their baby.
“I have had to go to stores maybe 45 minutes away just to even try to get formula,” she said. “It’s very hard to find them where I’m at right now. I went to Walmart yesterday and all they had was Similac and my daughter has a really bad reaction to Similac.”
Hann was able to connect with Dampier and picked up a can of Enfamil. Dampier left the box on her front porch with the message, “Please take only the formula you chose and tear out some coupons for yourself. My prayers are with you during this difficult time.”
The box of Enfamil products Caitlin Dampier left at her door for mothers to pick up.
Hann said she was down to her last can of baby formula which lasts her about five days. Now that she has received another can from Dampier, she’ll be able to feed her 9-month-old for the next two weeks.
“Being a mom is hard enough as it is. You have so many other struggles and to be afraid to know if you’re going to be able to feed your baby or not is a struggle,” Dampier said. “You want to do everything for your kids so when you’re not able to it’s hard. It’s just the worst feeling in the world.”
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