The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for us all, and the upcoming holidays have brought a little more cheer to this sleigh ride of a year. While it is vital to find joy this season and reconnect with friends and family, we must do our part and find ways to celebrate the holidays safely and prevent a further spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Here are some recommendations to help you stay safe while you keep your holiday spirits up.
ShoppingThe regular holiday shopping experience of crowded stores is a tradition to forego this season because it creates a greater risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus. While you can’t eliminate the chances of infection, you can take precautionary measures to reduce the risk while selecting gifts for your friends and family. You should avoid crowded indoor shopping & shipping centers and opt for outdoor markets and virtual shopping options. The safest option is to shop online; You can spread holiday cheer and put a smile on your loved ones’ faces by sending unexpected gifts with personalized notes to show them you care.
Activities & FestivitiesAvoid indoor gatherings when participating in holiday festivities such as caroling, Santa visits, and theatrical performances. Find out what virtual options are available to you so you can enjoy the festivities from the safety of your home. Wear a mask and keep a distance (at least 6 feet) between yourself and the next person when attending light shows, firework displays. Do the same when you engage in outdoor activities such as ice skating, skiing, or sledding, e.t.c. Events like drive-through light displays and drive-in movies are another great way to reduce the risk of infection.
Celebration & GatheringsCelebrating the holidays with individuals in your household and virtually with friends and family poses the lowest danger of virus spread. If you choose to gather with people outside your home, make sure you take the necessary precautions to help keep everyone present safe. Ensure that everyone attending agrees to your safety measures ahead of time. Have your gathering outdoors instead of indoors, and limit the number of attendees: the lesser people, the better. SARS-CoV-2 viral particles spread between people more quickly in poorly ventilated areas than they do outdoors. It is also more challenging to observe social distancing in an indoor gathering of two or more households.
Here are some precautionary steps to follow if you plan to host a group.
- Refrain from close contacts such as hugging, kissing, handshakes, e.t.c.
- Require that your guests wear their masks correctly at all times except when eating and drinking (a snug fit covering both the nose and mouth).
- Ensure that hand sanitizers are readily available and encourage everyone to wash their hands before and after eating.
- Have separate, distanced tables for each family and keep higher-risk individuals distanced from people who aren’t in their household.
- Avoid passing food for self-serving as well as buffet lines.
- If possible, give every family food bowls and utensils or assign an individual to make plates for everyone and ensure that they regularly wash or sanitize their hands properly.
- Limit the length of the gathering. The longer it is, the higher the risk of infection.
Ultimately, ensure to follow Federal, State, and CDC recommended safety guidelines; they are in place to protect and keep us all safe. The holidays are a time to find and spread joy. We must make the most of our time with those closest to us as we navigate these uncharted territories.
The Anuco team.