You Wearing A Mask This Holiday Season With Family?

The pandemic’s second holiday season is rapidly approaching. Thankfully, the number of people in the United States who have been vaccinated is increasing, especially now that youngsters are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. As of this writing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 196.4 million people in the United States are completely vaccinated, accounting for approximately 60% of the population. A booster shot was also given to another 36.1 persons.

Nonetheless, the CDC advises that certain safety precautions be taken, such as immunizing young infants. COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available to children under the age of five. If at all possible, the CDC recommends holding family gatherings outside. Crowds and poorly ventilated locations should be avoided. Do not visit family this holiday season if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are unwell. Stay at home, get tested, and get well instead. But what about masks? Do you have to wear one this holiday season when you assemble with your family?

It’s possible that you’ll need to put on a mask

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, as long as you and your family are completely vaccinated, you should be able to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday without wearing masks (via CNN). Booster injections are not yet included in the definition of “completely vaccinated” as of this writing. However, now that everyone is qualified, you should get a booster shot.

The most serious issue is for those who have not been vaccinated; the higher the number of unvaccinated people, the more family members are at risk. If you’re traveling or will be around family members who aren’t vaccinated — or if you’re not sure if they are vaccinated — you should wear a mask and keep a safe distance from them.

Dr. Fauci recommended being vaccinated if you haven’t already “If you get vaccinated, you’ll have a much easier time enjoying the holidays. And if you aren’t, please exercise caution ” (via CNN). Fauci recommends getting tested for COVID-19 if you haven’t been vaccinated before Thanksgiving. He did clarify, though, that it is “not a substitute for vaccination.” “Get yourself vaccinated,” he said, “and you’ll be able to continue to enjoy interactions with your family and others.”