By: Jeffrey J. Skubic
Season’s greetings from Edinburg, Texas. While snuggling up to a faux fireplace this holiday season or putting on a holiday sweater (if our subtropical climate permits!), let us not forget several profound things this holiday season. Most of the time, we in trauma would focus our efforts exclusively on trauma prevention education at this time of year, but in light of all recent events, it is impossible to ignore the current pandemic.
2020 has been a terrible year worldwide. If ever there was a time to wish, Peace on Earth and goodwill towards men, it is now. For those of us fortunate enough to be surviving the Coronavirus -19 pandemic, it would behoove us to recall the important lessons learned.
- Rich or poor, disease knows no bounds. Regardless of our socioeconomic status, we all have the potential to be affected by airborne pathogens.
- Protect the ones you love by maintaining proper social distancing precautions.
- Wear a mask. You may be an asymptomatic carrier; protect your neighbor!
- Maintain good hand hygiene. Try not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose when in public.
- Opt to receive the Covid-19 vaccine when one becomes available in your area.
- Follow other local rules and regulations to help reduce transmission in public places.
As families do get together, which inevitably they will do, even during the pandemic, there are things YOU can do to reduce common injuries we see coming from the community.
- Helmet use. Whether it be scootering, using an ATV or bicycle riding, please ensure children of all ages participating in these activities are wearing a properly fitted helmet and are supervised. We particularly see a large amount of ATV related traumatic brain injuries and long bone fractures during times of high activity.
- Don’t drink and drive. Just don’t. Assign a merry designated driver ahead of time. Hurting yourself, your loved ones or another innocent driver isn’t worth it!
- Don’t mix firearms and alcohol. Arguments at family gatherings are common. Do you really want to wake up the day after Christmas to find out your family member is dead and gone because you had a drunken argument on Christmas day? Let’s keep the firearms out of it, by keeping them locked away from other family members or prying children fingers.
- Do help older family members get around the house. By far, the largest number of trauma patients we have are hip fractures in older adults after falls. Especially if they are visiting someone in an unfamiliar area, make sure they can get around ok and avoid all falls! We have several of these patients EVERY DAY!
This holiday season, especially in the epoch we are living in, let us not forget that we as citizens of the Rio Grande Valley have more that binds us than separates us, that people are mostly good and that we can rely on each other to get us through the difficult times. Here’s wishing good safe holiday times for you and all your families.