As the vaccine rollout continues across the country, some grandparents may be vaccinated and looking forward to visiting with their loved ones again.
“It’s been such a hard thing for older individuals to be isolated and away from family,” said Dr. Ronan Factora of the Cleveland Clinic. “To be using social media and video as a means of communication, but you lose that human touch that has been so important.”
Facotra is a geriatric medicine specialist and says before you schedule that happy post-vaccination reunion, there are a few precautions you should take. It’s important to remember the COVID-19 vaccine is most protective about two weeks after the second dose; and even then it’s not 100 percent effective.
When you do plan your next visit with grandparents, masks and social distancing are still important. He also advises gathering in a smaller group or doing something outdoors to further reduce risk.
You should also think about where you’ve been recently and if you could be at risk of spreading the virus.
“I think that there are more opportunities for us to actually socialize in the future,” Factora said. “This is one of those steps in that direction. We have to celebrate that for sure, take advantage of it. But we can’t let go of the things that we’ve gotten used to in the last year. That’s not the message everyone wants to hear. We want to get rid of all this, but it is a road we have to travel. We are going to get there, but it’s just going to take time.”
Factora says it’s hard to say when visits can completely go back to normal. He says it depends on a couple of factors, like case numbers dropping to a certain level and more people getting vaccinated.