You better watch out, you better not cry...It's going to be a COVID Christmas again!

We have been through multiple waves of COVID infections from last year; different virus strains have come and gone. We have even started naming them like hurricanes. The latest in the list that is causing quite a scare is the Omicron strain from South Africa. We know very little about it, but one thing we know for sure is the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks. 

More the number of vaccinated population less likely will the virus be able to survive. I feel that everyone needs to take personal responsibility towards protecting our family and their community at large. Most of us have been inflicted with COVID fatigue; I’m not referring to the fatigue that is part of Long COVID syndrome but the impatience that has set in our minds about this relentless episode of this pandemic. When will we walk out freely without any fear, anxiety, and most importantly, without masks? 

We don’t have a concrete answer yet, but historically the pandemics/epidemics have eventually died down over a while. If our ancestors were able to come out of the Spanish Flu in 1918 in 2 years without a vaccine, antiviral medicine, or technology as we have today, we could very well be optimistic about seeing the end of the tunnel soon. Until then, we all have to practice safety precautions in the upcoming holiday season.

  1. Get vaccinated and boosted against COVID. Don’t forget to get a flu shot too.
  2. Avoid crowded places and the holiday rush.
  3. Don’t let go of the masks yet.
  4. Wash hands with soap and water often.
  5. Check the vaccination status of your friends before you send them an invite for indoor gatherings.
  6. If you have any flu-like symptoms, get tested for COVID immediately.

 

As much as the pandemic has taken a toll on physical health, it has also harmed mental health. Feeling of depression, isolation, despair, anxiety, etc., can be pretty crippling for someone already dealing with the financial burden from COVID-19. It is only natural to feel overwhelmed. These are some tips to maintain your zen:

  1. Focus on things that are under your control.
  2. Indulge in activities that make you happy.
  3. Get your personal space for 10-15 min/day at least to reflect on your feelings and thoughts.
  4. Keep away from people who instill fear, anxiety, and most importantly, misinformation about the pandemic and vaccines.
  5. Share your unfiltered thoughts with someone you trust.
  6. Mantra, to maintain positivity, is saying to yourself, “ this too shall pass.”

 

We all need to spread the holiday cheers again without spreading the infection. This year we are in a better position than last year’s holiday season, with robust vaccines for prevention, potent medicines for treatment, and astute minds trying to beat the odds. We need to believe in the magic of holidays to instill hope, optimism, and joy worldwide. I am wishing you all a very joyous and safe holiday season. Let’s all hope that 2022 puts an end to this pandemic. 

 

Author
Dr. Aparna Chandra, MD, FOMA Dr. Chandra is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. She has been honored with the designation of Fellow of the Obesity Medicine Association for her contribution to obesity medicine. Her primary focus has been centered around screening, preventing, and managing obesity. She offers a comprehensive medically supervised weight loss program at Jersey Medical Weight Loss Center, Somerset, NJ. She is actively involved in spreading awareness about Obesity through her blogs, radio shows, podcasts, Youtube channel, and publications.

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