HAP Blog

5 Things to Know: A Game Plan for Thanksgiving Health

November 22, 2022

From safe travel to getting vaccinated, state and federal leaders are urging everyone to make a game plan to have a healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

Nationally, travel is approaching pre-pandemic levels, AAA reports. Statewide, Pennsylvania Turnpike officials project Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel holiday of the year, making it even more important to focus on travel safety, said Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Mark Compton.

“Holiday activities can increase our levels of stress and fatigue, and this can contribute to distracted driving,” Compton said in a statement. “Other activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on cellphones, eating, turning your head to talk with passengers, and adjusting vehicle controls are major safety threats.

“Avoid doing that while driving. And most importantly, if you are tired it is crucial that you ask someone else to drive or take a rest before getting behind the wheel.”

Here are five things to know as we approach the holiday weekend:

  • By the numbers:  The state projects 3.5 million motorists traveling during the holiday. Today and tomorrow are expected to be the heaviest travel days.
  • Holiday travel:  State transportation leaders reminded everyone driving this holiday season to wear their seat belts, drive sober, and eliminate distractions behind the wheel.
  • Safe gathering:  If you are not feeling well, it’s important to isolate from others and avoid gatherings. This is particularly important to protect those who are vulnerable to severe complications from illnesses.
    • Getting tested for COVID-19 ahead of gathering can help limit the spread of the virus.
  • Call to Action:  Today, the nation’s public health leaders issued a call to action urging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. New variants of COVID-19 make it especially important to stay up to date on your vaccine.
  • Quotable:  “We need to make protecting our loved ones an important part of the conversation we have around the Thanksgiving table, an important part of the conversation we have in the days and weeks ahead,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator.

The nation is experiencing a “rebound effect” of RSV and the flu after COVID-19 was the main circulating virus during the past two winters, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House’s chief medical advisor.

“In the peak of COVID back in 2020 and 2021, we were having the lowest flu seasons on record, so it’s not surprising that we’re seeing it return back,” Dr. Fauci said during his final White House briefing today.

Heading into Thanksgiving, HAP joins state and federal organizations urging people to make a game plan to have a healthy, happy holiday. Learn more about the vaccine options in your community.

More information about safe holiday travel is available online.

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