COVID Questions: How Should My Family Handle a Coronavirus Christmas?
Presented by the salvation army in a year with fewer red. Kettles helped rescue christmas for the most vulnerable to give ask your smart speaker to make a donation to the salvation army or donate at salvation army. Usa dot org covid questions. How should my family handle a coronavirus. Christmas by jamie ducharme today. Jay b. from new jersey asks every year for the holidays. My aunt and uncle come up from florida and stay with my seventy year. Old parents who host a large extended family dinner on christmas eve. My aunt and uncle both had covert nineteen early in the summer and tested positive for antibodies in july. Their plan is to donate blood in early december to see if they still have. Antibodies then fly up from florida to new jersey. They believe they can't get covid. Nineteen again or spread it to others. As long as they have antibodies. My cousin also wants to fly from north carolina to new jersey. Spend christmas with our family and then visit with other family members. The only precaution he wants to take is getting a cove nineteen test before flying. He says he doesn't go out too much. Is it unreasonable to consider telling either or both of these relatives that they should not travel and stay with my parents this year. This is undoubtedly an issue on lots of people's minds. So thank you. it's also a complicated one. So i consulted to experts. Dr kelli michelson director of the center for bioethics and medical humanities at northwestern university feinberg school of medicine and a physician at lurie children's hospital and akiko iwasaki a professor of immunobiology at the yale. School of medicine to answer your last question i. It's not at all unreasonable. To consider asking family members to skip the trip or to skip a big christmas eve dinner entirely as painful as that would be at seventy. Your parents could develop serious complications if they were infected with covid nineteen. It's never easy to forego a tradition but with the virus surging across the country. It's a possibility with seriously discussing with your family now for the details. Your question about your uncle in florida essentially royals down to do. Covert nineteen survivors. Still need to take precautions was ocoee says the answer is yes. It's true that people who have recovered from coronavirus are probably at a lower risk of getting the virus again or spreading it to other people but there have been documented cases of people getting covid nineteen twice. And there's a lot that scientists still don't know about covid nineteen immunity including how long antibodies last estimates. Run anywhere from a few months to a year plus and however prevent subsequent infections. If you're at and uncle tested positive for antibodies right before travelling. It could offer a little bit of comfort that they won't get sick or infect others iwosaki says but it's not a guarantee false results are common with antibody tests and researchers are still figuring out how well antibodies prevent future infections a positive test result doesn't definitively mean. Your aunt and uncle are completely protected or incapable of infecting others. Iwosaki says if your aunt and uncle do make the trip they just like any traveler should try to quarantine for ten to fourteen days. Preflight michelson says and once they arrived they should still wear masks and practice social distancing that brings us to your cousin in north carolina. Michelson says she has a lot of concern about his plan. Getting a single test before flying really isn't enough to rule out infection. He could be exposed to the virus the moment he leaves the testing center or if he was exposed shortly before getting tested there might not be enough virus in his system to show up on the swab by the time he shows up for christmas eve dinner though he could be contagious if he then goes to see more relatives he risks infecting even more people. Michelson says if he plans to make the trip your cousin should follow the same precautions mentioned before the same goes for local relatives who may be planning to attend christmas eve. Dinner for the record. People driving from a few miles away are just as capable of spreading the virus as people who are flying if they haven't taken precautions beforehand to make a long answer short the safest choice and the one recommended by the us centers for disease control and prevention is to skip holiday. Travel this year and get the family together. Virtually if your family wants to gather everyone should try to quarantine beforehand and continue to take precautions throughout the visit. That's not a very fun. And festive answer. We know these choices are extremely difficult for everyone. It's easy to say we shouldn't be doing this that the other behavior. It's very hard to actually not do. Those things. michelson says for whatever solid. It's worth though. Michelson says that she can imagine a possible return to group gatherings by next summer with effective vaccine seemingly headed toward approval. Hopefully that serves as a little motivation. This season it would be really sad. Michelson says to have one of the people you love get sick knowing that if you had waited five or six months things would be different.