By Samuetta Hill Drew
A year ago, the coronavirus COVID-19 and its devastating effects were dominating the news and social media. The news daily spotlighted various infection hot spots in America and throughout the globe. The numbers of new infections and deaths were staggering. A majority of Americans were in a panic about how to safely live their daily lives, especially during the upcoming vacation season. Numerous questions and concerns surfaced – especially with airlines, hotels, theme parks, and cruise lines closing or implementing new COVID-19 restrictions. People wondered if a summer vacation was even an option. If so, where was it safe to travel? What safety measures should be taken if one chose to travel?
For most grandparents, the number one question on their minds was, “Can I visit with my grandchildren?” I remember countless back and forth discussions with friends about “Is it safe to visit my grandchildren this summer,” or “Is it safe for my grandchildren to visit with me this summer?” To protect everyone involved, many grandparents opted not to visit their children and grandchildren last summer, where others decided to practice all the COVID-19 safety guidelines and visited with their grandchildren.
The good news in May of 2021 is that for fully vaccinated grandparents eager to see their grandchildren, they can this year minus all the COVID-19 fear and anxiety. Based upon the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) interim Coronavirus COVID-19 safety guidelines state, fully vaccinated people can visit indoors with unvaccinated family members from a single household if no one is at high risk for developing COVID-19 complications.
Grandparents’ visits can be fun again! Fully vaccinated grandparents can enjoy all the long-awaited hugs and kisses from their grands and children without wearing a mask or social distancing. They all can enjoy outdoor activities again together. If the outdoor activities involve crowded settings or venues, a mask should still be worn.
Also, if someone in the unvaccinated group is at high risk of COVID-19 then the new interim CDC guidelines should not be practiced. Everyone should continue to practice the CDC COVID-19 guidelines which are to wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from one another.
With most states reporting that at least 50 percent of their citizens have received the recommended doses of one of the three federally authorized vaccines – Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Jassen, traveling to visit with your grandchildren should be a safe and exciting trip. Approximately 47 percent of Alabamians aged 55 to 64 have received at least one dose of a vaccine, 67 percent of those aged 67 to 74 have and 72 percent of those 75 and older have, but just 25 percent of Alabamians aged 16 10 54 have, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Alabama continues to lag behind many other states.
Continue to stay informed on current CDC COVID-19 guidelines regarding in-person visits and travel so you are able to enjoy your family this summer and beyond, while still Keeping an Eye on Safety.