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Monday, May 20, 2024

Enjoy the holidays but remain COVID aware

Dr. Veita Bland / November 19, 2021

The holiday season is approaching and it is definitely family gathering time. This year it is extremely important that COVID-19 protocols are maintained.

Here it comes. Most of us missed the holidays last year so the anticipation of this holiday season has some people filled with excitement as they decorate and prepare to enjoy the festivities.
First, let’s remember that we are still in a pandemic. There are still certain recommendations we should follow that have been provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) as well as other public health and scientific agencies in the know.

Be aware of who you decide to share air and space within your home. Think long and hard about this. According to the CDC, if people have been vaccinated, they should be okay to be around other vaccinated people without a mask. If your friends and relatives have not been vaccinated, all bets are off. Stay away. For the unvaccinated, everyone should wear a mask and social distance. Protect your loved ones, older family members and friends who may have medical conditions which compromise their immune system. This is where so many complications on so many different levels can occur as well as COVID-19 breakthrough cases.

Unfortunately, there are still so many people who have chosen not to get vaccinated. If you are hosting holiday festivities, you are responsible for the health of those in attendance.

If you are traveling, make sure you are safe. Traveling by air is relatively safe. Masking is a must in the terminal and on the plane. Masking is necessary if using a taxi, Uber, Lyft or other means of transportation. The same should be said if traveling by train or by bus. The quality of the mask one wears is also especially important. A mask must cover your nose and mouth.
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, please remember to get a flu shot if you have not gotten one yet. We would hate to save you from COVID-19 and lose you to the flu.

Now is the time to make sure you are taking good care of yourself. Remember, there are other viruses out there that we usually see this time of year such as colds, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, pneumonia and so forth. To effectively combat these viruses, it’s important to be well rested and exercise regularly. Try not to get fatigued or run down. Make sure you get your proper rest. Sleep helps your body heal and repair itself. Give your body adequate time to do both.

Be kind to yourself. Take a brisk walk after a meal. Remember, the keys to weight loss and maintaining one’s health is to watch what you eat and exercise regularly.

Don’t allow others to rain on your parade. These times are tense for a variety of reasons and the COVID-19 pandemic is just one of those reasons. Money may be short. Friends and relatives have been lost to the pandemic over the last two years. Life for most of the world’s population has not returned to normal and let’s not pretend that it will be normal during the winter months when cold and flu season predominate. Take some time to reflect.

Avoid arguments and select light topics to discuss. Watch your ingestion of alcohol and make sure your emotions stay under control. Hopefully, a good, healthy holiday will be experienced by all.

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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