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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

To Your Health: Staying Home for the Holidays

The World Health Organization has released an unwelcome but potentially life-saving message for the holiday season: Don’t hug.

It may seem that instead of the Grinch, COVID-19 stole Christmas this year. However, just as the Whos down in Whoville persevered, we can too. My oldest daughter quarantined in her dorm room for two weeks, getting a COVID test on day 10, so that she could spend a few days with my mom before Christmas. Once she returns to our house, where we have a variety of school exposures, we will all be back to distancing from Nonni. On Christmas Eve, we will Zoom with her, as we will with my sister who lives in Iowa. Just like we did at Thanksgiving.

These decisions were made based on the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fauci stated that family gatherings over the holidays should be limited to fewer than 10 people. “Ten may even be a bit too much," Fauci said. "It's not only the number, it's the people who might be coming in from out of town. You want to make sure you don't have people who just got off a plane or a train. That's even more risky than the absolute number."

As heartbreaking as it may be to not travel to loved ones on the holidays, your heart might grow three sizes thinking of how wonderful those hugs will be when it is safe to give them next winter.


Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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