Aspirus Medical Monday: Staying healthy throughout the holidays

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rattle the world, health experts stress how important it is for everyone to work together and mask up to help slow the spread of disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear masks in public settings, while using public transportation, and at events and gatherings. This is especially important with the holidays approaching as families travel to be with loved ones.

“There’s no doubt the holidays look different this year. We encourage people to get creative, perhaps by visiting virtually,” said Darcy Donnelly, director of regional quality for Aspirus. “Spending time with loved ones is important for our health, and while we don’t want people to feel like they have to cancel the holidays, it’s about getting together safely and masking up.”

On top of the holidays, it is also flu season which creates a risk for two pandemics at the same time.

“This is a very real and dangerous possibility,” Donnelly said. “That is why it is vital for you and your family to get your flu shots as soon as possible.”

According to the CDC, flu shots are especially important this year for the following:

• Essential workers. This includes health care workers and others who offer needed services to the public during the pandemic.

• People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes older adults and people with certain underlying conditions.

• Members of minority groups that have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, including Black, Hispanic, or Latino, American Indian, and Alaska Native people.

• People at increased risk for flu complications. This includes infants and young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and people with chronic conditions.

Flu activity typically peaks between December and February, but it can last through May.

For more information about getting a flu shot, check with your local pharmacy or doctor’s office. Visit the Aspirus website at https://www.aspirus.org/ for more information.

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