How can cancer patients and their families safely enjoy summer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

After almost three months of social distancing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be itching to get out and enjoy this summer. But the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious public health threat. So, how can cancer caregivers and their families balance their desire for a break with the need to stay safe from COVID-19? Is it safe to go to the beach or stay in a hotel? If not, are backyard barbecues or family pool parties OK? We spoke with infectious diseases and infection control expert Roy Chemaly, M.D., and Catherine Powers-James, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in our Integrative Medicine Center, for guidance on how to relax and socialize responsibly this summer. Our family wants to go on vacation during the coronavirus pandemic. Is it safe for us to travel this summer? “Until there’s a vaccine, herd immunity or a proven, effective treatment for COVID-19, there will always be some risk of contracting the virus, even in our own communities. That’s why we’re still advising patients to stay at home whenever possible, wear masks while out in public, and maintain consistent social distancing, disinfection, and handwashing practices,” says Chemaly. That being said, a road trip taken with members of your own household is probably the safest option. “But air travel is inadvisable right now, particularly for immunocompromised patients,” Chemaly says. “And taking a cruise is out of the question.” Is it safe to visit my friends or extended family during the COVID-19 pandemic? Can I have a socially distant outdoor gathering? “Interacting with anyone from outside of your immediate household will always have some element of...