Safety First When It Comes to Holiday Celebrations
You may be tempted to brave the crowded airports with others who are flying to see family or friends for the winter holidays. Or you may have been invited to celebrate locally with some friends you haven’t seen since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Neither of those are good options this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s safest to celebrate the holidays with people you live with. Make sure those people are taking the same precautions you are, like wearing masks, social distancing in public and regularly washing their hands. This is especially important for older adults and people with chronic conditions, who have a higher risk for severe illness.
People who shouldn’t host or take part in in-person gatherings include those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and aren’t yet safe to be around others, people who may have been exposed to or have symptoms of the virus or those who are waiting for test results.
If you ignore the CDC’s recommendations and host or attend a celebration for people who don’t live in your home, keep it short—maybe an hour. Remember that indoor events typically pose more risk than ones held outdoors. The CDC recommends keeping the crowd limited to a number that can stay 6 feet apart, even when wearing a mask. And encourage guests to regularly wash their hands. Other tips for gatherings include:
- Frequently clean and disinfect common surfaces, such as food preparation areas, countertops, light switches, door handles and all restroom surfaces.
· Ask guests to bring their own food and utensils or use disposable plates and silverware. If you’re sharing food, choose one person to prepare plates.
· Only take your mask off when you’re eating or drinking.
· Use single-use options for things like salad dressings, other condiments and seasonings versus bottles that everyone can share.
You can still safely share the last of this year’s holidays with people who don’t live in your home by having a virtual event. You’ll be able to enjoy traditions like opening Christmas gifts, lighting the kinara for Kwanzaa or sharing your resolutions through Zoom, FaceTime or a phone call.
Remember that many of your neighbors and friends will be spending the holidays alone this year because of COVID-19. Give them a call or chat with them through Zoom or FaceTime. Arrange to deliver a meal that you can leave on the front porch instead of handing it to them. Wait for them from a safe distance, so you can see them in person and wave. Those are ways to help you and them feel less alone.
Following these safety tips and getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you will help ensure you’re healthy when we’re finally able to safely return to our normal lives.
Filed under: Healthy Living