The end of year festivities are usually a highly anticipated moment, marked by conviviality, sharing and celebration. However, the recent covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how viruses can disrupt this festive period. So, how can you make sure you don't miss anything while protecting your loved ones?
General prevention advice
To counter these risks and enjoy the end-of-year holidays in complete safety, it is imperative to put general prevention measures into practice.
First of all, hand hygiene must be rigorous, including the frequent use of a hydroalcoholic solution or meticulous washing with soap. Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or into a disposable tissue is also an essential practice.
It is also recommended to regularly ventilate your home to promote air circulation. The ideal is to avoid handshakes and hugs during greetings. When traveling, it is best to opt for private means of transportation. Finally, limiting non-essential social interactions a few days before celebrations helps reduce the risk of spreading unwanted germs during festive gatherings.
Vaccination campaigns against covid-19 and flu are currently underway. These vaccines play a crucial role in individual and collective protection . In fact, by being vaccinated, we not only reduce the risk of contracting these infections, but we also contribute to reducing the circulation of these viruses.
Vaccination also represents an effective barrier to minimize serious symptoms , complications and the spread of viruses, thus providing additional assurance to fully enjoy festive moments in complete safety.
However, even vaccinated people must respect barrier gestures in order to protect themselves and those around them against other diseases. It is compliance with all preventive measures, including vaccination and barrier gestures, which allows complete protection against all winter viruses.
Protect your loved ones
To prevent contamination of those close to you, it is essential to remain attentive to any possible symptoms and to adopt a responsible approach in case of doubt. Wearing a mask is recommended when you are sick or in the presence of vulnerable people. In the event of symptoms suggestive of covid-19, it is advisable to carry out an antigen screening test or a PCR test, and to contact your doctor in the event of a positive result. It is also crucial to inform everyone involved within 48 hours before the onset of symptoms, or within 7 days before the positive test in the absence of symptoms.
Since February 1, 2023, the systematic isolation of people who test positive is no longer mandatory, and Health Insurance no longer monitors people who test positive or their contacts as part of contact tracing. However, positive people are strongly recommended to self-isolate and avoid contact with vulnerable individuals.
Respecting barrier gestures remains crucial, and it is essential to demonstrate responsibility and foresight. By adopting safe behaviors, everyone helps celebrate this season in a healthy and joyful way.
Strengthen your immune system
Winter conditions tend to weaken the immune system. Various factors such as an unbalanced diet, excess stress, lack of exercise or sleep can also contribute to decreasing the effectiveness and responsiveness of the immune system. To counter these negative influences and approach the holiday season with optimal health, it is recommended to follow certain practices:
- Adopt a balanced diet , rich in essential nutrients. Fruits, vegetables and foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants support the immune system and help prevent infections.
- Practice regular physical activity , even during colder months. Activities such as indoor yoga or virtual group exercise can boost the immune system and build resistance to infections.
- Manage stress by practicing meditation or adopting relaxing activities, thereby promoting mental well-being and strengthening the body's resilience.
- Place particular importance on rest and sleep, allowing the body to recover and regenerate its natural defenses.
In addition to these approaches, the use of certain plant-based food supplements can help boost the immune system. By combining these different measures, it is possible to proactively strengthen the immune system, providing increased protection against potential viruses during the holiday season.
During the festivities
Social gatherings, unavoidable during this period, considerably increase the chances of virus transmission . Warm hugs and shared laughter can unfortunately be accompanied by unwanted germs. In addition, frequent travel to meet family and friends increases exposure to different environments and potential sources of infection.
When it comes to festive meals, favoring individual options rather than shared dishes can reduce the risk of transmission. To do this, using individual utensils and avoiding sharing glasses or plates is preferable.
It is also crucial to wash your hands before approaching an infant , using soap and water for 30 seconds, or using a hydroalcoholic solution if hand washing is not possible. It is also recommended not to share unwashed bottles, pacifiers or cutlery in order to prevent bronchiolitis.
The festive atmosphere should in no case dispense with hand washing. It is a fundamental practice to minimize the risk of transmission of infections, even in a happy and festive context. By integrating these preventive habits into the festivities, we actively contribute to ensuring the safety of ourselves, our loved ones and especially the most vulnerable, while preserving the joy and festive spirit of the season.
With the simultaneous circulation of viruses such as covid, flu and gastro, the end-of-year holiday period requires increased vigilance to guarantee everyone's safety. Individual and collective precautions remain essential elements to minimize the risks of transmission.
Ministry of Health and Prevention. (Updated November 6, 2023). Update on… acute respiratory infections (ARI).
Public health France. (December 21, 2022). COVID-19, influenza and bronchiolitis: recommendations in situations of co-circulation of respiratory viruses.
French Republic – public service. (October 5, 2023). Covid-19: what to do if you are positive or a contact case?