Don't cancel holiday plans due to COVID but take precautions, doctors say

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Why doctors say not to cancel your holiday plans due to COVID
UCSF doctors say there is no need to cancel any Christmas, Hanukkah plans due to COVID, but people should take precautions to limit the spread.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- With Christmas less than a week away, doctors at UCSF say there is no need to cancel any holiday plans due to COVID, but people should take precautions to limit the spread.

"We have vaccines, we have Paxlovid," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, Doctor of Infectious Disease at UCSF. "It is not just COVID but there is also the flu and RSV. If people would like to avoid getting sick, then the usual tasks of masking, getting vaccinated and avoiding large crowds should be considered."

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It has been a few years since the COVID-19 virus severely limited how people gathered for the holidays. People in Walnut Creek say they are ready for this year to feel the most "normal" compared to previous ones.

"We have elderly family members that we don't get to see very often so we all got to fly down for the first time which was really fun," said Nora Angus, who is visiting from Oregon. "The whole family is here all eight, nine of us. It is a really cool moment."

The Angus family went to Walnut Creek to enjoy ice skating together. They say they are not too worried about the virus this winter.

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"You kind of have to roll with the punches," said Chris Angus. "We understand what is going on now. At this point, you just take what you got and you just go with it."

With restrictions not being nearly as severe as 2020 and 2021, Doctors say it is safe to enjoy holiday gatherings again. However, they recommend picking and choosing when to attend mass gatherings if people want to stay extra safe.

"If there is this amazing reunion where you haven't seen people for 10 years, you might want to stay as safe as possible in the days leading up to it," Dr. Chin-Hong said. "Don't go to every gathering under the face of the sun."

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For the Angus family, they feel content going about their holiday plans.

"Total comfort whatsoever," Angus said. "Not really concerned. I do all the safety precautions. I follow the rules and the guidelines, but at the same time, I am not going to let it stop me."

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