Updated: Dec 28, 2021
Getting ready for the holidays with Covid has mixed feelings in my life. I'm so excited to enjoy the holidays with my family, daughter visiting from college and excited to see the smiling faces on Christmas morning. However, the dreaded Covid is still looming in the back of my head.
I live in beautiful Hawaii and we love the holiday celebrations Hawaii has every year. Oahu has some of the most beautiful holiday lights, shows, "Surfing Santa", and so much more. Unfortunately, like everyone else, we also have a huge growth in Covid cases. We went from average of 110 cases per day in November to almost 900 per day (as of today, 12/21/2021.
Hawaii has some of the strictest Covid policies for anyone visiting our islands. Per the Safe Travels Hawaii Program (https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/getting-to-hawaii/) "entry into Hawai‘i includes the Mandatory State of Hawai‘i Travel and Health Form, temperature screening at all Hawai‘i airports upon arrival, a pre-travel testing program, and a vaccination exception program for domestic, U.S. passengers."
So with having these strict rules, why the increase in cases? Well...let's take a quick look.
We now have this ugly variant of Covid called Omicron. according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html), "The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms." In Hawaii, the State Department of Health officials said they have detected additional omicron variant coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total of highly transmissible variant cases to 50. This number is for the Omicron variant only. Just a little while ago, it was 0.
You're probably asking, "why is she only talking about Hawaii's Covid issues?" Well, it's because I only live in Hawaii.
I'm not going to lecture anyone about Covid vaccinations or give my opinion on how to live your life. I fully believe in people making their own informed decisions. I wouldn't like it if someone came into my home and told me it's best for me to rearrange my furniture because they read it's better to arrange into a certain style. That goes to say, please please please do NOT believe everything you read on social media. Please do not believe what someone's friend's, uncle's, cousin's dog trainer told them. Use common sense.
How to Protect Yourself & Others
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations: (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention) updated November 29, 2021
Authorized COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from COVID-19.
You should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
Once you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
Wear a Mask
Everyone 2 years or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.
In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection and prevent possibly spreading COVID-19 to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
Stay 6 feet away from others
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people, especially if you are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
Being in crowded places like restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters puts you at higher risk for COVID-19.
Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.
If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
Test to prevent spread to others
Testing can give you information about your risk of spreading COVID-19.
You can choose from many different types of tests.
Regardless of the test type you select, a positive test result means that you have an infection and should isolate and inform your close contacts to avoid spreading disease to others.
Over-the-counter self-tests can be used at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results. Anyone can use self-tests, regardless of vaccination status or whether they have symptoms or not.
Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.
A positive self-test result means that you have an infection and should avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else.
A negative self-test result means that you may not have an infection. Repeating the test with at least 24 hours between tests will increase the confidence that you are not infected.
Ask your healthcare provider if you need help interpreting your test results.
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
It’s especially important to wash your hands:
Before eating or preparing food
Before touching your face
After using the restroom
After leaving a public place
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After handling your mask
After changing a diaper
After caring for someone sick
After touching animals or pets
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.