COVID-19 safety precautions a doctor, respiratory therapist and nurse are taking this holiday season

The holidays are fast approaching, and with them, the opportunities to socialize, shop, and visit bars and restaurants. We asked a USC Medicine Keck doctor, respiratory therapist and nurse with which vacation activities they feel comfortable this year.

An ICU doctor’s perspective on vacation meetings

“Over the past 22 months, I have seen far too many people die from COVID-19 and I have also seen the enormous burden the pandemic places on my colleagues and on the entire healthcare system.

“This holiday season, I not only care about the health of my wife and children, but also the people around me. As a doctor, I never want to hurt, so I feel more comfortable hosting a small, scaled-down event.

“We invite the immediate family to an outdoor dinner and everyone should be vaccinated. If it’s too cold, we’ll go inside. However, each window will remain open and I will run the air filter.

Why does a respiratory therapist shop at home

“This year, I do all my shopping online to avoid the crowds in stores and malls. Even if the gifts don’t arrive on time, it’s more important to be safe and avoid possible exposure to COVID-19.

“For Christmas we have a small gathering of immediate family. Everyone is vaccinated and will also have a quick COVID-19 test before we meet.

“You can’t let your guard down, even on vacation.”

  • Maria Sanchez, respiratory therapist at Keck Medicine

Two Places You Won’t Find That Critical Care Nurse Looking For Holiday Cheer

“For me, vacations are all about risk reduction. This season, I will not be visiting crowded indoor bars or restaurants. Eating or drinking forces people to take off their masks; and after a drink or two most people tend to forget to wear them altogether. I also don’t know if the staff or the other guests are vaccinated or maybe even sick.

“I feel comfortable getting together with a small group of family or friends where we all know the vaccine and each other’s condition. My wife and I also went to an outdoor concert recently, but we felt safe because we were masked and kept socially distant.

  • Ben Trousdale, RN, Intensive Care Unit with Keck Medicine

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Susan W. Lloyd