The start of the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is just days away and other holidays will soon follow and, I get it, no one wants to think of serious matters or any limitations during this time of year, but I am a physician who thinks of some of the risks associated with this season so, like it or not, hear goes.

During this time of year families gather together indoors. Some of the guests at a dinner party may be from out of town and some of the guests may be school age children eager to be part of the action.

Well, you cannot deny that this is the time of year when influenza, Covid and RSV may be spread in these settings and result in insignificant problems especially for the elderly like grandma or grandpa. Consider vaccination against all of these potential infections, especially you, grandma and grandpa. If anyone is sick with a respiratory tract infection at least use a home test to see if you are infected with Covid and even consider masking if you are coughing or if others are coughing.

If you have any swallowing problems or have a history or symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux, be careful of how much turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie you try to cram in at one time and be sure not to lie down flat to take a post dinner nap. As I have mentioned recently, aspiration is one of the most common causes of community acquired pneumonia.