I'm a Doctor and Here's the Worst Thing You're Doing as COVID Surges

Everyone is having pandemic fatigue, but the time to buckle down is now.

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Like every American, I am excited about a COVID vaccine, and I am ready for life to go back to normal. Still, as we reach over seven million cases and with the winter ahead of us, looking at the data, I am concerned that the worst is yet to come. What worries me are the holiday festivities ahead of us. People will inevitably gather indoors, socialize with groups of people, and, unfortunately, fail to practice safety measures like physically distancing and wearing masks. With the virus running unopposed, these next three months are going to be a real challenge. Attending indoor gatherings is just simply a bad idea.

Right now, we are seeing the number of cases is dramatically increasing. As we enter winter, we will see the number of cases continue to rise. Not to mention, we are already witnessing hospitalizations trending upward—currently there are almost 40,000 people hospitalized in the U.S. due to COVID.

Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the general public, but scientists and drug companies are racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine by next year. Vaccines are work, but we need to trust the process, and avoid getting sick until there's a safe vaccine available to all. And the best thing we can do to ensure that happens is avoid indoor gatherings.

I understand how it feels to not be able to say goodbye or give your family member a last hug because I lost a loved one from COVID. We must do all we can to avoid getting infected with the virus, and refrain from gathering indoors and spreading the virus to other people. We can avoid more trouble if we each do our part. With that, here are the four places you need to avoid right now, or at the very least, exercise extreme caution. And for more on the areas of the U.S. that are tightening things up, check out These States Are Showing Signs of Another Lockdown.

1
Indoor gatherings—small or large

Man bringing some beer to the friends.
iStock

For signs you have a severe case of coronavirus, check out If You Have These 2 COVID Symptoms, You Could End Up in the Hospital.

2
Bars

Man handing money to the bartender
Shutterstock

And for more on the metro areas that are instituting restrictions, check out These 4 Major Cities Are Showing Signs of Another Lockdown.

3
Houses of worship

Catholic Church
Shutterstock

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4
Political rallies

Trump rally
Brandon Stivers / Shutterstock.com

And if you are unsure if your congestion is more than just allergies, This Is How to Know If Your Stuffy Nose Could Be COVID.

Leo Nissola, MD
Leo Nissola, MD, is a physician and scientist focused on understanding and fighting advanced-stage cancers with the immune system. Read more
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