Time to pass the gravy, stuffing, and perhaps some pumpkin pie. COVID-19 (pounds) here we come. But let me recommend that the people around your Thanksgiving table be only those currently inside your “quarantine bubble”. Much as it pains me to say, having family and friends come into your bubble from outside is simply too risky, with a resurging virus. Note just this past Friday (the 13th, naturally) our governor issued a “travel advisory”, asking those coming in to California to quarantine for 14 days and asking California residents not to travel out of state for the holidays.
And no, that pre-Thanksgiving COVID test won’t really keep you safe. This is the title of a nice piece in Wired magazine. The piece closes with, “Instead of relying on a test to give you a green light, it’s better to do all you can to avoid exposures in the first place. With Covid cases climbing fast, and vaccines that may become available in early 2021, the stakes are even higher than they were before. Canceling Thanksgiving with Grandma means you all miss that human contact this year, but it might also ensure that she’s around for the next family gathering.”
So working on those 19 pounds is (barely) ok, but certainly preferred to putting more COVID-19 on your (and all those health care provider’s) plates. Zoom works, and it is low-cal, too! Tell your out of area family that you love them, and help us all keep them around for next Thanksgiving.
Eric Weiss, MD, Nov 16, 2020
NOTE: CV🦠News is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.
What you need to know
- People age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.
- Masks offer some protection to you and are also meant to protect those around you, in case you are unknowingly infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
- A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching or removing your mask.
- Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with other people who live in your household. However, some localities may have mask mandates while out in public and these mandates should always be followed.
- CDC is still studying the effectiveness of different types of masks and will update our recommendations as new scientific evidence becomes available.
Sky Pittson, MD, November 18, 2020
California and San Mateo County recently released guidelines on how to help keep you and your loved ones safe during the holidays. In short, “The safest gathering is one that is a small, stable group that meets outdoors for a short duration and uses face coverings, distance and other safety measures.”
Here is a breakdown of that guidance:
SMALL. Gatherings should involve no more than 3 HOUSEHOLDS, including hosts and guests (more than 3 households gathered together is actually in violation of current state code)
SHORT. Limit the time you spend with others to UNDER 2 HOURS.
STABLE. You should only partake in ONE GATHERING with up to 3 households. If you must attend several gatherings, keep it to the same group of people.
OUTDOORS. When possible, activities should occur outside, especially if guests will be eating. Consider having lunch or early dinner so the weather is more comfortable. If gatherings will be inside, open the windows and doors to increase ventilation.
Jackie Phillips, MD, November 17, 2020
We are entering a long winter as case counts of COVID 19 have surged 72 % in the last two weeks in California.
Small gatherings have been the biggest source of new cases according to San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties Health Departments. This is a crucial time to be vigilant; wear masks and limit contacts to only your household.
Guidelines for close contacts of a confirmed case are clearly outlined here.
There is an important change that the CDC has highlighted, you are still a close contact regardless of if you or the person with COVID-19 was wearing a mask or whether you were wearing PPE… Read more
Prerana Sangani, MD, November 17, 2020
The simple answer is: we don’t know, but many scientists are calling for further research. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis announced in September it will be the clinical coordinating center for an international trial aimed at evaluating on a large scale whether the MMR vaccine can protect against COVID-19. Funded by an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with support from a number of public and philanthropic donors, the study will recruit front-line health-care workers in several countries including Canada, the US, Ghana, Ireland, South Africa, Uganda, the UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In many of these nations, there are relatively few health-care workers per capita, and protecting them from severe COVID-19 infection could provide a substantial public health benefit and help reduce community spread of the virus… Read more
Jennifer Abrams, MD, November 17, 2020
If you have made it this far, time for a reward, something to lighten your day, and acknowledge the human spirit. Find some escape, or perhaps even inspiration, in this ever growing collection of works and perspectives gathered from around the world. Please contact me directly if you have come across something that has lifted your heart today. Dr. Eric Weiss
A Beautiful Moment Captured
Watch this heartfelt video of when an NYC Prima Ballerina with Alzheimer’s listens to Swan Lake and the performance comes back to her instantly.
A Symbol of Hope
It’s officially the holiday season as the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree has arrived in New York City.
The 75-foot-tall, 11-ton Norway spruce was cut down in Oneonta, New York, and began its long journey south to midtown Manhattan last week.
The iconic tree has always been a symbol of hope, resilience, and is a vital tradition for New Yorkers.
A Defining Moment in Ironman History
Amazing achievement. Special Olympics athlete, Chris Nikic, became the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon.
Chris finished the 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-marathon run at the Ironman Florida competition in Panama City Beach and has been recognised by the Guinness World Records.
“I achieved my goal and now I want to help others like me,” Chris wrote on Instagram.
Again, CV🦠News is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.
Yours, in health and resilience,
Eric and the TVD MD team…