How to safely celebrate Easter with your family

FILE (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Many families are looking forward to celebrating Easter together, especially as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues. But a Cleveland Clinic doctor says we still need to be cautious with big events.

“Be cognizant. Just because you have the vaccine, even though your protection is better, it’s not 100%. So ask yourself, do I absolutely have to do this activity?” said Adarsh Bhimraj, M.D., infectious disease specialist.

Bhimraj said there are a couple of safety tips to consider when it comes to planning for Easter.

First, try to keep your gatherings small. If you do have to go somewhere with a lot of people, be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

As for the vaccine, it’s important you receive the recommended number of doses and wait two weeks after to ensure its effectiveness. Otherwise, you could risk catching the coronavirus.

Finally, if you’re not feeling well, it’s probably best to just stay at home. He knows it can be tough to miss out on family events, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“That’s really important, again, is respecting other people’s space and opinions as well. Be up-to-date with COVID-19 information in your community and areas you’ll be traveling to,” said Bhimraj. “I am cautiously optimistic about the pandemic slowing down, but there are a lot of new variants out there, and we really don’t know what the medication and vaccine efficacy is in some of these variants.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you and your loved ones are fully vaccinated, it is safe to gather without masks. However, if you are going to be around more than one other household that is not vaccinated, then you should still practice normal precautions.