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Holidays and COVID Safety

In recent times, the precautions in place for COVID are less strict compared to the ones in early 2022. There are few restrictions or safety requirements in place for public areas during the holidays. Predictably, there has been an increase of people going out, which is questionable for public health.

holidays-and-covid-safety

As of December 5, there have been 8,058 COVID cases. Because of the lessened number of cases and the presumed idea that majority of the population are vaccinated, people feel safe to travel.

It has been observed that COVID precautions have been lessened to increase customers for businesses. There are no checks for vaccination when entering shopping malls or stores. It has also been observed that people choose to not wear masks when outside in smaller communities or in familiar groups. To the majority of people, the Philippines is already past the pandemic.

The risk of contracting COVID is the highest during the holidays. People feel safe to gather in large groups and remove their masks. This has been shown after the holidays of 2021, most notably in January, where the few thousands of COVID cases increased dramatically. According to WHO, the highest number of cases recorded in the Philippines were 231,502 cases on January 10, 2022 . It can be predicted that the same situation will happen again.

COVID cases have been decreasing in the past few months, with only 1,863 cases reported on December 19, 2022. It is much safer to travel home or outside compared to the previous months. As of December 20, according to the DOH, 71,795,564 people have had their First dose, 74,713,278 people had their Second dose, and 42,556,537 people had boosters. It can be assumed that there is herd immunity in the community.

Despite this, it is a fact that a vaccinated person can have COVID. Vaccinations can cause a person to be asymptomatic or prevent a person from severe reactions, but it does not prevent spreading. In fact, asymptomatic people have the same capacity to spread the virus compared to those who visibly react. High concentrations of people in one place only require one person to be asymptomatic to unknowingly spread the virus.

It is safer to stay at home for Christmas and past the holidays. Travelling or visiting during the holiday’s puts elderly and the immunocompromised in a dangerous situation. Masks and vaccinations are still incredibly important during the holidays. With safety precautions and consistent efforts in COVID protection, the country can truly stay post-pandemic.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Sophia Toboso

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