A New Take on Tradition
As the weather temperatures drop and the winter approaches we can expect to see an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases, which may—or may not—affect your holiday plans. The determining factor will be the number of cases in your immediate community. If it’s low, you’re probably okay for a traditional gathering. If cases in your area are high, it’s time to create some new traditions! (See this list of States for help in determining if you are in a high-risk area.)
“Some people in this country are going to be able to have a relatively normal holiday season, but in other areas of the country, it’s going to be, ‘You better hold off and maybe just have immediate family, and make sure you do it in a way that people wear masks, and you don’t have large crowds of people,'” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some recommended guidelines for navigating the 2020 holiday season. The number one consideration is to avoid travel. If your friends and family live nearby in a low-risk community, by all means, gather and celebrate. But if you, like many people this year, are doing all you can to prevent contracting the coronavirus, here are 10 suggestions for healthy, happy celebrating.
Guidelines for the 2020 Holiday Season
- Consider limiting your dinner to members of your immediate household. The risk of contracting the disease from food preparation or eating is actually very low.
- Make all your family favorites and deliver them to neighbors or shut-ins. Let them know in advance so they don’t end up with a refrigerator full of cranberry chutney! Then deliver at a prearranged time so you can leave the food on the porch or where you don’t need to come in contact with each other.
- Take advantage of sales on turkeys and donate them to food pantries.
- Have a small, outdoor gathering of friends and family to celebrate. Think about keeping a list of those who have gathered together so you can contact them if someone gets sick within two weeks of the party. (After two weeks, destroy the list for privacy.)
- Have masks and hand sanitizer liberally available so that guests can intermingle safely. (Follow the 6-foot distancing rule when masks are removed, except, of course for eating together.)
- Consider using disposable plates and tableware and asking participants to bring food in disposable containers.
- When cleaning up after the festivities, don’t let people congregate closely together without masks, and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- For those in high risk areas, have a virtual holiday dinner and share the love and fellowship with as wide a group as you like. No masks required!
- Watch parades, sports events, or movies from home. If you visit pumpkin patches or holiday festivals, be sure that the number of people there at one time allows for social distancing, and use hand sanitizer before and after touching items.
- Holiday shopping is best done online. If you absolutely must go out, avoid crowded stores and malls. Plus, there are some great deals online throughout the season!
We at America’s ER wish you and those you love a peaceful, joyful, and safe holiday season!