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Doctor warns of holiday travel risks during COVID-19 surge

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - “Its been terrible,” said Dr. Stephen Oscherwitz, an infections disease doctor in Tucson. “If you don’t have to travel I probably wouldn’t at this point.”

He says holiday gatherings and travel may lead to more COVID cases. But, he says, if you have to travel, there are safe ways to do it.

“The airlines have actually been pretty good,” said Dr. Oscherwitz. “You have pretty good air circulation if you put the jet of air in front of your face, it will carry away most things and if you keep your mask on.”

“Some people are eating on planes and keeping your mask off for a while that defeats the purpose,” said Dr. Oscherwitz.

He says when you are inside the airport, you should try to stay as far from main gathering areas as possible.

“You just want to minimize your contact with other people and make sure that you’re in a place where you’re not going to be infected by others who aren’t considerate,” said Dr. Oscherwitz.

He is also urging unvaccinated travelers to get the shot, before they see loved ones. He says risking infecting others just isn’t worth it- he’s seen it first hand.

“One of my unvaccinated COVID patients woke up the other day after a month on a ventilator we had him sedated, he asked for his wife and daughter and it turned out he had brought the infection home to them so the nurses and I had to tell him your family is gone now,” said Dr. Oscherwitz. “He’s got a family that’s gone all because he didn’t get vaccinated. I cant justify that.”

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