Sometimes doctors have to deliver bad news to their patients. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, the physicians of Illinois implore you to reconsider your holiday plans this year. Large gatherings of family and friends inside a home or restaurant are not a good idea. Nor is playing that traditional Thanksgiving football game with a bunch of people you haven’t seen in a long time.

We are experiencing yet another dramatic increase in the number of COVID cases and our Illinois hospitals are filling up with patients. We know how much you want to celebrate, but your doctor wants you to stay healthy by avoiding situations that increase your risk of contracting the coronavirus. Sadly, that means staying away from your loved ones who may be most vulnerable to this deadly virus.

Although many may be suffering from COVID-19 fatigue, it’s important to stay particularly vigilant to protect against the spread of the coronavirus this holiday season. That means wearing a face covering in public places, keeping a physical distance from people who are not in your household, and washing your hands often and thoroughly.

Enjoy the holidays safely and please consider a virtual gathering via computer or telephone.

Robert W. Panton, MD, president

Illinois State Medical Society