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Tag: Covid-19

COVID-19 Proofing Your Christmas Celebration

COVID-19 Proofing Your Christmas Celebration

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of changes this year, but we don’t have to let it ruin our Christmas traditions. We can still have a merry Christmas celebration even if we have to adapt new ways of celebrating without failing to observe the standard health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, frequent hand washing and disinfecting, as well as physical distancing.

As long as we follow safety protocols, we can still enjoy our Noche Buena with our loved ones.

We must heed the advice of health authorities to refrain from attending gatherings that will require travel to areas under stricter quarantine classification. We also must make sure that our loved ones and friends who have respiratory or flu-like symptoms, exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals, and those who are vulnerable such as the elderly and people with other major illnesses don’t get to join social gatherings.

Here are some tips on how to celebrate a COVID-19 proof Christmas with family and friends:

1. Have your parties online using any appropriate app as an alternative and safe way to celebrate.

2. For face-to-face celebrations, arrange for outdoor gatherings in your garden or patio. If outdoor celebration is not possible, ensure proper ventilation of the venue by keeping the windows and doors always open.

3. Limit gatherings to a small group and only among household members. Make sure that the venue will ensure proper physical distance among expected attendees.

4. Maintain physical distancing. Avoid greetings that involve touching or physical contact such as handshakes, “mano”, or “beso-beso”.

5. When serving food, it is safer to use disposable paper tableware. Individual serving or packed meals is a safe option for bigger groups.

6. Avoid karaoke and sing-along-sessions, as droplets are easier to spread with singing.

7. Have rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers, face masks, disposable paper towels available in various areas of the venue such as entrances, exits, tables, sink, and toilet.

Vaccine vs. COVID-19: Where Are We Now?

As the world continues to struggle with the overwhelming impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine researchers around the globe are diligently working on developing the means to definitively control the further spread of the deadly virus, SARS-CoV-2.

There are generally three phases of vaccine testing on humans prior to being licensed for use. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains, Phase 1 or initial human studies are done to determine safety and ability of the vaccine to induce an immune response and is performed in a small number of closely monitored subjects.  Phase 2 studies are done with different dosages of the vaccine and may have to enroll hundreds of subjects.  Finally, Phase 3 trials typically enroll thousands of individuals to critically document the effectiveness and important additional safety data required for licensing.

In the draft landscape of COVID-19 line-up of vaccines released by the WHO on 20 July 2020, 24 candidate vaccines are already at various phases of testing in humans.

Since there is no specific treatment yet for a novel disease like COVID-19, the news about development of vaccines for this dreadful disease that has inflicted millions provides a ray of hope amidst the gloomy pandemic.  The world now is in watchful anticipation of genuine outcomes.