By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus-related medical questions. If you have a question for Dr. Mallika, email her or message her on Facebook or Twitter.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

“I wear four rings and take extra care to wash under them and to make sure the settings are clean. Shouldn’t washing around rings be added to handwashing instructions for COVID,”Elizabeth in Ashby

Yes, it’s a good idea to wash under and around any jewelry, you might be wearing. I take my rings off when I work in the clinic so I don’t even have to worry about germs getting trapped there.

“Why is it that masks are known to protect the other person rather than the person wearing it?” -Lynn

Science tells us that wearing a mask is an effective way to prevent the wearer from emitting respiratory droplets out into the atmosphere that could infect someone nearby. But we have also found that wearing a mask helps protect the wearer to some degree as well.

“Should you wear gloves to the grocery store?” -Annette 

You don’t have to wear gloves to the grocery store. Some experts worry it gives people a false sense of your security and you’re more likely to accidentally contaminate yourself. Instead, avoid touching your hands to your face while you’re shopping, use hand sanitizer as soon as you’re done, and wash your hands well when you return home.

“We are debating whether to hold Thanksgiving for a gathering of 11 people including three kids and grandparents in their seventies from MA, CT, NYC, and N.H. Is it safe to stay under one roof?” -Matt

I just don’t think we know what the landscape is going to look like at the end of November in terms of COVID and the beginning of the flu season. It may not be wise to get people together under one roof from various states, especially with two older people in attendance. At a minimum, you should all consider getting tested beforehand. But let’s see what happens over the next couple of months.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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