I've been a patient and health advocate for many years. Getting diagnosed with and living with a rare immune disease is no easy feat and I have learned many things along the way. I try to share some things with you to help keep you and those around you healthy. Here are some tips that can help get you through this pandemic.

1) Pay attention to what's going on around you. Are case numbers going up? Are local Facebook friends saying they are sick? This by the way is useful information for other infectious diseases too including the flu. But it's only useful if you apply that information to your life.

2) If cases are going up take a good hard look at your daily activities and at your calendar. What things do you not need to be doing right now? What activities can be modified or done in a safer way? For example, you do need to go to work and to your doctor's appointments, but maybe you should pass on an indoor event that is not essential and not worth risking your health.

3)Layer protections. We all know by now the things that can help prevent covid infections. Do as many of them as you can.

4) Mental health is important, in fact, I think mental health will be an issue we grapple with long after the pandemic. Take care of your mental health and do some things you enjoy, but also be aware of what risks you are taking, and think of it as gambling. Try to not push your luck if the odds are stacked against you. Know that your lucky streak will likely run out the longer and more you play. More chances equal more risk. For example, instead of going into a store every day, buy what you need for the week so you are taking 1 chance instead of 7. It's a very simple idea that can reduce your risk once you get into the habit of thinking this way.

5)Avoid overconfidence. This is probably the most important. Humans have a horrible tendency of thinking they are all that and that no harm can ever come to them. The Titanic was said to be unsinkable before it sank. Let that sink in. There are many times that really bad things happen because people wrongfully think that they have everything perfectly under control. Maintaining some sense of caution is the wisest attitude to have. People who are not overconfident will remain humble and are more likely to take precautions and respond appropriately to a threat.

Our non-medical underlying conditions as human beings and as a country have made this pandemic worse than it had to be. Let's think in terms of damage control and repair moving forward. How can we as individuals, communities, and a country become more resilient? These are conversations we need to have but each one of us can work on ourselves in the meantime.

I hope you all have a safe & healthy holiday! #COVID19 #omicron #pandemic #pandemiclife #MentalHealth #resiliance #communitymatters #Overconfidence #riskassessment