HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Dec. 23 is one of the busiest holiday travel days of the year. So as you head out to meet up with family and gather at parties, what is the best way to keep safe from COVID-19?
This holiday season, as you are flying on a plane, gathering for a holiday party, or getting together with family around the dinner table, what are your risks?
Devon Rall of Windsor Locks, a traveler at Bradley International Airport, caught up with News 8 on Wednesday. She said, “Somebody in my family tested positive for COVID so we’re not having a big gathering this year.”
With COVID numbers pushing all-time highs around New England, many people are canceling or scaling back their holiday celebrations.
Dr. F. Perry Wilson of Yale Medicine said, “There is no really risk-free way to celebrate the holidays, just short of staying inside your house with your own family.”
Dr. Wilson explained, each family has to assess how much risk they are willing to take on for holidays. People who are unvaccinated, older, or immunocompromised with comorbidity, should be more cautious.
He added, when you start folding in unvaccinated people into your holiday gatherings, the risk goes up, and that includes unvaccinated children.
Rall said, “What happened with my family was one of my aunt’s daughters who was not of age to be vaccinated was the one to get COVID so I think that is definitely a lesson.”
Dr. Wilson put it this way, “One household with some unvaccinated kids: pretty low risk. The more unvaccinated households you bring into your party, the higher the chance that someone in there may have a brewing COVID infection.”
So if you are flying on an airplane, the N-95 mask is the best mask; it will give you the most protection. You can also double mask: wear a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it. A surgical mask alone will give you a limited amount of protection for yourself. Either way, you have to wear a mask while traveling on an airplane.
Angelo Liciega of Miami, Florida, another traveler at Bradley, said of having to wear a mask on his flight, “The mask actually isn’t that irritating…People seemed a little bit frustrated but they were doing just fine with it for the most part.”
And a safer way to travel: on the off-days, like Christmas Day and New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, when there are fewer people, fewer people means less risk.