The Holiday season marks a time of coming together to see friends and family and celebrate the traditions that makes all feel at home. On the flip side, the transition to the winter season is when we historically see a marked increase in the number of people contracting communicable diseases such as COVID-19, RSV, pneumonia, and the flu. Many of these illnesses are spread from an infected individual to another person.1 They can be spread either if you come into direct contact with an infected person and their bodily fluids, a contaminated object, or even a respiratory droplet can be spread via coughing or sneezing.1 While we want to enjoy seeing our friends and family and participating in societal traditions such as Black Friday, we need to be more conscientious of our own health and the implement simple practices to protect us and others from spreading communicable illnesses. Below are 5 tips to help you stay healthy this Black Friday!
- If You Are Feeling Sick, Participate Virtually! One of the most important items on your checklist before the leaving the house is a check – in with yourself. Some of the first signs of illness is feeling run down or fatigued, developing a cough, fever, runny or stuffy nose, or a sore throat. If you have any of these symptoms, then it might be the time to skip shopping for the day and plan to shop online for Cyber Monday. Try to connect with family and friends virtually whether it is a text message, phone call, or even a FaceTime! If any of these symptoms become worse or occur for long period of time, then you need to reach out to your primary care provider.
- Mask Up. One of the best ways to protect yourself from the spread of respiratory infections is by wearing a mask. Especially for Black Friday there will be plenty of people in a small space which heightens the risk of becoming infected. Before you go you may want to consider bringing a mask especially for those high-volume areas.
- Use Hand Sanitizer. The CDC recommends the use of hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.2 Hand sanitizer can help prevent you from getting sick and spreading germs to others.2 It is important to use hand sanitizer before entering a new store and then prior to leaving the store.
- Bring water. Black Friday involves long hours of walking and prolonged standing in usually hot spaces. All these factors can lead to dehydration. Bringing water or even a reusable bottle that you can fill up while you are out shopping will be key to avoid this.
- Self-Care The Day Before. Usually, Black Friday starts early in the morning to get the best deals. Waking up earlier is all a part of the fun of Black Friday shopping. To best prepare yourself for this day, it is important to get a good night’s rest and eat a proper breakfast before heading out for the day. Lack of sleep and nutrition can all decrease your body’s immunity and increase your risk of getting sick.
All of these are great tips to prevent illness everyday year-round, but they become especially important during the Holiday season. Another lifestyle change that strengthens your immunity is being physically active. If you are looking for guidance on how to get active, contact us today for a free consultation.
- CDC – Aircrew Safety and Health – Communicable Diseases – NIOSH Workplace Safety & Health Topics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aircrew/communicablediseases.html
- CDC. Show Me the Science – Situations where hand sanitizer can be effective & How to Use it in community settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published September 10, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html