Coronavirus, flu combination could 'completely dismantle' holiday season, San Francisco doctor says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Just as you think the coronavirus is about to ruin your holiday season, there's another thing to worry about: the flu.

"It's something that has every single doctor and public health official on their toes right now," says ABC7 News special correspondent Dr. Alok Patel. "If we don't get coronavirus under control, it's going to fall right into the cold and flu season, which could completely dismantle our holidays."

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If you want even a tiny semblance of normalcy for the holidays, now is the time to be on our best behavior, Patel says. You've heard it before, but yes, that means wearing a mask and physical distancing.

"Back in February and March, we were talking about the possibility of being able to celebrate Fourth of July or Memorial Day without being sheltered in place or anything. And we have not gotten there."

Patel says it's important everyone gets their flu shot once they become available, to at least protect themselves from getting that virus as we await a COVID-19 vaccine.

VIDEO: Dr. Patel explains COVID-19's likely impact on Halloween celebrations
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Dr. Alok Patel explains how COVID-19 may affect Halloween celebrations this year.



"If I were planning my holidays right now," says Patel, "I would take precautions and assume it's going to be like it is right now."

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That means you need to assume COVID-19 is still spreading in the community. So if you want to eat around the table with close family and friends, you'll need a plan in place to get everyone tested and/or self quarantine before coming together.

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