Staying Safe While Having Fun with Fall Festivities

Hayrides, pumpkin patches and other fall festivities are back, but are they safe to attend this year? A Cleveland Clinic doctor has some advice.

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CLEVELAND – Fall has finally arrived and that means hayrides, pumpkin patches and Halloween festivities are back. But, are they safe to attend this year?

“Especially with the surge of the Delta variant these past several months, I think anything we do right now we have to be cautious and careful because now there is more risk involved in any activity that we do around other people than there was just two months ago,” said Joseph Khabbaza, MD, pulmonologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Khabbaza said the Delta variant is highly transmissible, which is why he recommends assessing your risk level before going anywhere. If you don’t feel comfortable being in big crowds with strangers, then it’s probably best to just stay home this year.

However, most fall activities tend to be outdoors where people can space out, so that can help limit the spread of the virus. You could also wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer with you.

Another tip, check the infection and vaccination rates for that specific area.

“Maybe do a smaller type of gathering for the kids with either friends or family members in the community or neighborhood that you know vaccine status and how they view and take the pandemic from a precaution standpoint,” Dr. Khabbaza recommended. “Those become very safe when you’re doing that and the anxiety and risk associated with doing that – any of those activities — is going to be very, very low.”

He said if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, now is the time. Especially since children under the age of 12 can’t get vaccinated. You’re not only putting them at risk, but they could spread the virus to others as well.

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