Christmas and the New Year is coming with family gatherings, pajama pictures, opening gifts, perhaps a movie, brunch or a party or two. Most of all we are looking forward to spending time with our family and friends this Holiday season. We are meant to be social. It’s encoded in our DNA. People are social beings. With this holiday season, we need to be mindful that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We don’t have to live in fear and isolate ourselves from others nor be in denial and act with reckless abandon. Despite this pandemic we can live robust lives filled with contentment, joy and peace if we just ask each other a few simple questions as we gather.
Have you been vaccinated?
Have you been tested?
Is anyone checking vax/test status?
Should we crack open a window or do we have an air purifier in the home? Or better yet can you offer to bring one?
Is there anyone who is older or with a health risk? Regardless of health status all of us should wear a portable ionizer air purifier when we are mask-less. Seniors or those with a health risk definitely must.
Do you have the best mask?
Are you taking your shoes off at the door?
Does everyone know to lower the toilet lid before flushing the toilet?
Will hand sanitizer be available as soon as our loved ones come into the house? Or was someone able to snag a bottle of Skinguard, the state of the art only research proven long lasting hand sanitizer that continues to kill Covid for 4-6 hours?
I personally know people who cannot get vaccinated because of serious adverse reactions or who get vaccinated but their bodies don’t develop an adequate immune response. Regardless of vaccination status, regular testing is essential during this holiday season especially if you are visiting the elderly or those who might be at higher risk for severe covid. Free Covid testing is available in many cities and I advise taking advantage of that service. Rapid at home Covid tests, while not as effective as PCR testing, are available over the counter fir about $20 for two at many drugstores and even through Amazon.
I personally tested recently when I visited my elderly colleagues who are also close personal friends, Doctor Bea and Doctor Peyton. They are in their 90’s and are like a mom and dad to me. Even though they didn't require it, ask for it and said it wasn’t necessary, I sent their adult children Allyssa and Johnson a copy of my negative test results before I visited their mom and dad. I explained that I had recently traveled by plane and sat next to someone who would not wear her mask appropriately and that I had been at a conference where three people tested positive after arrival. Fortunately, I tested negative which not only assures them but also assured me that the biosafety behavioral practices we teach and model are effective.
The Air You Breathe
Sars Covid transmission is spread through the respiration of an infected person; be it through big droplets like coughing or sneezing or in aerosolized spray from talking. As we move around and increase our contacts we have to be thoughtful about where we are, the size of the space and the number of people in the space. Outdoors is safer. However, many of us will be indoors eating and drinking without a mask on.
Room air purifiers, portable table top air purifiers or ionizers will help insure that the air you breathe is less contaminated.
Here is a testimonial from one of our community members about the role air purifiers played to keep her from getting infected despite lengthy exposure to someone who was positive but didn’t know it.
I also personally like ionizers for my elders, kids and adults who have a difficult time wearing their masks completely over their mouth and nose. Sometimes it’s important to pair the two. While traveling to the Netherlands and waiting in lines at the airport my 13-year-old son’s mask would slip to the tip of his nose or off completely. I knew he was protected with his ionizer on too and I also got to avoid the frequent reminders to pull his mask up. In another situation, I took Dr. Bea to the museum. She uses a walker and rarely keeps her mask on and up as required by the museum. However, I outfitted her with an ionizer so I knew she was well protected.
Speaking of masks, mainstream media is finally acknowledging that cloth masks won’t cut it. We at Auset-Isis have been saying that cloth masks were basically useless since the beginning of this pandemic. While many are touting n95 masks, n95 masks are actually antibacterial masks. Viruses are infinitely much smaller micro-particles (far right) than bacterial particles (far left).
A mask with a filtration index of n98 or higher is effective against Covid; better yet an antiviral mask provides the best protection. There are several antiviral masks on the market. The most budget friendly is by Livinguard. Livinguard masks are approved as an antiviral mask in Europe and are awaiting approval by the FDA in the US. Their claims are research backed in Europe and the US. If you have to wear a mask, wear one that deactivates Covid!
There are some simple behavioral changes that can help reduce the spread of germs and viruses. Some cultures and locales already have a custom to remove one’s shoes at the door. As a frequent Hawaii visitor my family was able to adjust to this one pretty quickly, It’s a good habit to get into now during the holiday season especially if you are inviting people over and to continue as we deal with this more contagious variant.
Lowering the toilet cover is not just a male courtesy for the ladies in the house, lowering the lid also reduces the spread of microorganisms from fecal matter. When a person flushes the toilet, the toilet sneezes and the aerosolized spray can travel as far as 25 feet. Think about that the next time you brush your teeth!!
We all know that we need to wash our hands. Did you know handwashing with soap and water alone only dilutes Covid but doesn’t kill it? It’s in the fine print on the CDC website. As we pass around dishes, serving utensils, our phones to show each other pictures hand sanitizers is a must. Truth be told, the best hand sanitizer available, the best in its’ class is Skinguard. Most hand sanitizers immediately kill microorganisms and provide you with perhaps 30-60 seconds of protection. We would become OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) if we washed and sanitized our hands each time we:
● Touched our face
● Touched our mask
● Sneezed, coughed or blew our nose
● Before cooking
● After using the bathroom
● After caring for someone who is ill
● Touched our pet
● Touched someone else’s face
● Touched a public door handle
● Came in from outdoors
Most of us and especially women may be doing all of those ten things several times per day. I live in a high rise and touch a public door handle or button ten times taking my dog out for a walk. Multiply that by 3 because my Sofia, a beagle, is walked three times per day.
I love Skinguard because it is the only research backed hand sanitizer to provide 4-6 hours of continuous protection against Covid and other common microorganism, lasts through eleven hand-washings, is super soft on the hands and does not dry your hands out like alcohol-based hand sanitizers. And I don’t have to be OCD about my hands.
We know the holidays include lots of traditions and experiences that we look forward to. Shopping, going to a movie premier, attending a play and hosting a game night are also holiday traditions for my family. This year we went to see Spider-Man: No Way Home. Here’s our movie essentials: AirKave or ionizer, Skinguard hand sanitizer, and an antiviral mask by Livinguard.
We encourage you to think through what you will need whatever your holiday experiences and rituals,
No matter your plans for this Holiday season we at Auset-Isis hope that you have a soul satisfying and safe experience. We can all be grateful for the victory that we are alive to share this moment, this day, with the people we love.
The Covid Ninjas - Patricia, Michele & Justin; We want you to live and thrive, not just survive
through this pandemic!