Oregonians with diabetes need to take extra care during the holiday season

Like just about everything else in 2020, the holiday season is going to be a little different this year, thanks largely to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Family gatherings will be smaller, travel will be limited and annual traditions may just have to take a year off. 

Staying safe during the pandemic will be even more important this holiday season for a specific group of Oregonians – those who have diabetes.

“It’s even more important that people take extra precautions this holiday season because people living with diabetes are more susceptible to getting COVID-19 and to the impact of that disease has on them,” said Robin Richardson, senior vice president of Moda and the former chair of the American Diabetes Association.

He said about 300,000 Oregonians have diabetes, while another 100,000 likely have it but are not aware of it. Additionally, Richardson said 1.1 million people in Oregon are living with pre-diabetes. People with diabetes account for 40 percent of all COVID-19 cases nationally, so extra vigilance will be important over the holidays.

“If you have a small family gathering, maintain your social distance, wear your masks, wash your hands and take all the other precautions,” Richardson said.

He also added that it’s important for people with diabetes not to let their guard down over the holidays. They need to continue taking their medication, watch what they eat and get regular exercise.

“You can enjoy the holidays and still maintain your routine,” said Richardson. “And if you’re sending presents to someone with diabetes, perhaps send fruit instead of fruitcake.”

For those looking for more information about diabetes, Richardson suggested visiting the ADA’s website at www.diabetes.org. Moda also has more information on its site to learn more about how to manage their diabetes with blood glucose monitors and testing supplies.

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