Anxious about COVID and the holidays? Local experts offer tips to ease holiday stress

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Anxious about COVID-19 and holiday gatherings? You aren’t alone.

What to do about your holiday plans — now that we’re seeing a rise in COVID cases — is a discussion happening in many homes and offices. For many, this is their first time getting together on Christmas since 2019. But with things going in the wrong direction, it can be concerning — especially if you don’t know your family or friend’s vaccination status.

For Mark Dauphin and his family, it’s all about being safe this holiday season.

“During Thanksgiving, we asked that everybody showed up for Thanksgiving would be vaccinated, and everybody agreed to that,” says Dauphin.

The same protocol goes for Christmas.

“Really, nobody balked at that. Everybody agreed to that. So that’s what we’re going to do,” says Dauphin.

Dauphin says his sister-in-law is hosting Christmas this year. The family agreed that if everyone is vaccinated, they are safe to have a gathering.

Dauphin added, “You know maybe somebody would get a little sick, but not deathly ill.”

But not all families are taking precautions. Several of our viewers said on Facebook they would be gathering with their family, regardless of vaccination status. Another viewer told NewsChannel 9 they might ask their unvaccinated guests to mask up. Experts say if you don’t feel comfortable, you might have to decide not to attend or speak up.

“Ask your host in advance if attending whether or not they’ve asked and checked-in or set some ground rules of expectations about their COVID status or their vaccination status,” said Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.

Health experts are again reminding the public to get vaccinated — and get that booster shot, too.

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