One of my favorite radio personalities told me he’d been to a COVID carnival recently. You know, a gathering where for just a moment you forget there is a pandemic happening? People are mingling, talking in groups, and few people, if anyone, is wearing a mask. Sound familiar?
We’ve all fallen victim to peer pressure, naivety about event safety, or FOMO (fear of missing out) at some point over the last seven months. After all, it’s been a long seven months. Avoiding gatherings was easier at the start of the pandemic, whereas in recent months, many people have let their guard down.
As the holidays approach, I worry that there will be more “COVID carnivals” to dart (or gamble on). So what’s one to do? Here’s my advice.
We are social beings, so it can be difficult to miss events. That said, sometimes missing the birthday gathering is your best bet. The pandemic offers you an opportunity to say no without guilt. Remember that schedule that used to run you ragged? Now you can freely decline events citing safety (and responsibility) as the reason. The fact is, it can happen to you. Every party invite you accept, dinner you attend or unnecessary event you choose to stop by adds an element of risk. We are learning to live with COVID-19. It is not realistic to live entirely risk-free, but you can significantly reduce your chance of getting, or spreading, this illness by being selective about the risks you take.
I believe it’s time for us to be proactive about testing. When the pandemic started, there was a lack of testing centers, supplies, etc. That is no longer the case. So why not implement regular testing? If we proactively test individuals, we can identify and isolate the virus, thus limiting the spread of COVID-19. Currently, we are far too reactive. Most people do not get tested unless they’ve had a known exposure or experience symptoms. In the coming weeks, Innovative Express Care will begin saliva virus testing. Swing by at your appointment time, spit in a cup, and you’re on your way. COVID-19 testing can be quick and easy. So why not do more of it?
COVID-19 is not a gift you want to give this holiday season. If you are planning to get together with extended family, be sure to take precautions. I recommend the following:
Innovative Express Care offers COVID-19 testing seven days a week. It’s not only easy to get tested, it’s also the responsible thing to do. While many people may not experience serious symptoms with this virus, other people do, and you do not want to risk the health of your loved ones. We now have testing sites in the city and Western suburbs. With more than 1,000 appointment times a day, we do our best to accomodate the needs of the community. Be safe, Chicago.