Happy Thanksgiving, minus hugs

Connecting the Dots

COVID-19 numbers climbed in Winnipeg on Oct. 7 (which showed up in Thursday’s report) and provincial health officials have warned us not to relax our COVID precautions just because it’s a long weekend. The virus won’t be taking a holiday. If anything, it will find more victims unless families and friends take extra precautions.

 

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But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat turkey together. Joy and enjoyment are vital needs for a healthy soul. So, here are some tips to help hosts and guests.

The normal cooking process destroys the novel coronavirus. But, more care should be taken in preparing raw food and in presenting all food to the table.

Hand hygiene is important when visiting. Thorough handwashing with soap and warm water is more effective than hand sanitizers. So, make clean hand towels or disposable paper towels available to guests.

Give soap 20 seconds, at least, of thorough scrubbing. Soap molecules will penetrate bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19, that protect themselves with an oily lipid membrane. So says the UNESCO website.

Alcohol can also break an oily membrane, but washing with soap physically removes viruses and bacteria from the skin. Scrubbing all parts of your hands and wrists vigorously with a sudsy lather is the key, and whether the water is cold or warm doesn’t matter, so long as it’s soapy. (I like hot water.)

Provide hand sanitizers as a second line of defence. It may be handier, and that’s a factor.

Manitoba health officials have recommended some reasonable measures to help out, such as moving celebrations outdoors.

If you are extra vulnerable due to pre-existing health concerns, don’t go. Take the digital route - group chat, WhatsApp, Skype or whatever works for you.

Here’s the official wording:

For those considering family, workplace or social celebrations, this fall it’s recommended to limit holiday gatherings to household members, reduce your number of close contacts and limit the number of gatherings you attend to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone should self-screen for symptoms using the COVID-19 screening questions before attending an in-person celebration or gathering. Stay home if you are sick.

And, keep track of where you have been. For hosts, maintain lists of attendees for 21 days to ensure appropriate public health follow-up can take place if an attendee is exposed to COVID-19 during the celebration or ceremony.

Read the details here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/holidays.html

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