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As the weather cools and coronavirus cases spike in the United States and around the world, many are worried about what the winter will bring: In addition to the flu season and concerns about indoor gatherings, the spread of the virus is increasing and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients. TODAY Health spoke to several experts in mental health, infectious disease, family medicine, and more to find the answers to all the questions you have about preparing for the winter.
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One way to stay safe is to limit your social bubble as much as possible. Limiting your social contacts right now is coming at a difficult time for most families: The holiday season is just around the corner, and many traditions involve gathering together.
“It’s the height of flu season, and we’ve seen research that family gatherings even in the summer have been a source of outbreaks,” said Gregg Gonsalves, Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, in September. “I think Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa this year are going to be very different. We’re going to have to figure out how to adapt.” Experts suggest that it could be best to make holiday gatherings ____ (one word missing) this year, especially if you tend to invite people from several different areas or people who are at a higher risk for the virus.
While you’re planning, make sure you have what you need to spend at least a few days in quarantine. Experts ____ (one word missing) having some food and groceries stocked, which can be especially helpful if stores begin to experience shortages.
In addition to food, make sure you have supplies for basic care at home. While you should immediately go to a hospital or seek medical help if you are experiencing any severe ____ (one word missing), minor coronavirus symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
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