The DocSmitty: Large Easter Gatherings are Not Worth the Chance of Spreading COVID-19
Many families are excited about decorating eggs, having Easter egg hunts and participating in other holiday traditions this week. Although this is the second Easter holiday during the COVID-19 global pandemic, now is not the time to let your guard down against the virus.
With more adults across the country getting a COVID-19 vaccine, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is vital to keep in mind that children 16 and younger cannot yet get vaccinated, and we all must do our part to protect them.
In an interview on Monday with Lauren Zakalik from WFAA, Justin Smith, M.D., a pediatrician at Cook Children’s Pediatrics Trophy Club, warns, “the risk outweighs the benefit of large gatherings for Easter because all children are not yet vaccinated.”
Dr. Smith says he understands parents are eager to let their children spend time with their fully-vaccinated grandparents and family members; however, it’s essential to take extreme caution this weekend and for the near future.
“Anyone at a gathering who isn’t vaccinated could potentially bring the disease to the gathering,” Dr. Smith warns. “It is necessary to still follow the guidelines in place and not gather with several households until everyone can get vaccinated.”
Another critical point to remember is not only could spending time with other households potentially be a space to spread COVID-19, taking your children to large Easter egg hunts and other Easter festivities could also prove to be problematic.
“Social distancing can be challenging and it's likely there will be a lot of people unmasked,” Dr. Smith said.
As a physician and a father of three, Dr. Smith says large gatherings of any kind this Easter are not something he would be comfortable with his children or his patients doing.
“We are closer to the end of this than we’ve ever been, and I think we can make decisions for a short-term now that could potentially get us to the end,” Dr. Smith said. “I’m nervous about really trying to get back to normal right now when it feels like we’re so close, because I’m afraid it could set us back.”
While Texas has opened up vaccines to everyone 16 and older, it is not clear when younger children will begin to receive vaccinations. “Just like we’ve been doing for a year, we are advising adults to use caution and choose activities that are done in the safest way possible,” Dr. Smith explains.
Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Smith is an experienced keynote speaker for a variety of topics including pediatric/parenting topics, healthcare social media and physician leadership. If you are interested in having Dr. Smith present to your conference or meeting, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.