COVID’s Second Wave
HOLIDAY SEASON BRINGS CHALLENGES… AND HOPE
New Coronavirus cases have hit an all-time high across the country. But while hospitalizations and deaths are rising, the holiday season does bring some good news. American pharmaceutical companies have made astonishing progress on COVID 19 vaccines, and first dosages will likely be available to high-risk populations as soon as December of this year. In the meantime, health officials have warned Americans against traveling during the holiday season. And, once again, this advice will hit seniors particularly hard—as many older adults have continued to ‘shelter in place’ since the spring. Almost half of seniors report feeling lonely on a regular basis, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During the holidays, these numbers will almost certainly increase thanks to social isolation coupled with the “holiday blues,” which “can cause irritability, fatigue and sadness,” according to the American Psychological Association.
It is important to think of ways to support older relatives over the upcoming holiday season. Stepping up communications, especially if you’re giving up an in-person visit, is a good idea. Consider scheduling specific days and times to talk. Remind loved ones that the vaccine is on the way. If your parent or grandparent is famous for a favorite family dish, ask them to share the recipe so that you can make it over the holidays. Being creative at virtual get-togethers can make them memorable and fun. Share a toast, show grandparents your kids’ new art projects, or have the musician in your family play a number. Other suggestions for sharing holidays across the miles can be found here. You can find ways to be together—even when physically apart.