Newswise — LOS ANGELES (Nov. 19, 2020) — With the two biggest travel holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – around the corner, many are debating whether they should gather with family and friends as usual.
“There is no easy solution,” says Cedars-Sinai infectious disease specialist Catherine Le, MD. “When my patients ask me if it’s safe to travel or spend time together with loved ones, I talk to them about risk mitigation and encourage them to find what they consider is an acceptable amount of risk in their lives.”
Risk mitigation, according to Le, is an individual decision based on preparing for, or lessening the effects of, any type of threat. In today’s world, risk mitigation conversations are centered around being exposed to or contracting COVID-19.
“I can never say anything is 100% safe,” said Le. “But what I can do is encourage individuals to reduce their own risk and follow best practices, including avoiding interacting with large numbers of people, frequent hand-washing, wearing a mask, staying socially distanced whenever possible, and importantly, getting a flu shot.”
A flu shot not only lessens a person’s likelihood of contracting the flu but helps ensure healthcare systems do not become overwhelmed with flu and COVID-19 patients at the same time.
“If we have a patient who has both the flu and COVID-19, it could be disastrous on the individual level, but also disastrous for the