By Your Local Epidemiologist: Katelyn Jetelina

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my own chronicles of navigating this pandemic. I dread doing so, because I receive so much hate after. But it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the questions as we navigate the “choose your own adventure” phase of the pandemic. We are all just trying to figure this out as we go. And, unfortunately, the “normal” viruses are back, too.

This is what my little family is doing this holiday season to stay healthy and enjoy time with our loved ones. I hope it’s useful.

Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

Goal 1: Protect the vulnerable

There are still ~2,600 Americans dying each week from COVID-19. The vast majority are older and vaccinated (but not up to date). As an epidemiologist, I refuse to accept this as the “new normal.” So my professional bias influences my priorities: Ensure the vulnerable around us (like grandparents) do not end up in the hospital with COVID-19 (or flu or RSV). This means we are going to do everything in our power to break transmission chains before gathering for the holidays. This includes…

At least three weeks before event:

  • Ensure everyone is up-to-date on their flu shot and fall booster (especially the older adults). The fall booster rate is currently 7.3% (20% for those aged 65+).

Link to Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina’s blog



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