Trying to Navigate the Holidays During COVID? [8 Health & Safety Tips]
Spending joyful holidays with friends and family requires heightened precautions this year. Given that our community members travel either across town to the homes of loved ones or out of state for extended visits, we are all tasked with taking precautionary measures. Until COVID is defeated, we are all in it together, and we hope these holiday health and safety tips help you and your loved ones.
1: Consider Holding Outdoor Family Gatherings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that COVID tends to spread more easily indoors than outside. That’s knowledge that we can put to use. Consider hosting an outdoor holiday event using buffet tables, food warmers, and a fire pit if it gets a tad chilly. This might not be the traditional get-together you envisioned, but it’s likely to be memorable and safer.
2: Social Distancing Matters At Holiday Gatherings
One of the primary reasons that outdoor gatherings are considered safer is they allow for increased social distancing. Spacing out seating arrangements in properly distanced social circles will enable you to have those long talks and catch-up with loved ones safely.
3: Consider Holiday Travel Logistics
It’s unfortunate that the country’s travel businesses are struggling, but avoiding planes, buses, and trains, among others, remains in all of our best interests. That being said, traveling in small groups via automobile ranks among the better options. Keep in mind that it’s important to travel with household members who have not been exposed. One of the ways we are slowing the spread is by limiting contact to those in our orbit. Apply that thinking to holiday travel.
4: Where To Stay During the Holidays
The tradition of staying at relatives for big get-togethers may not be prudent this year. One of the things experts warn against is interacting with people from other communities and states. If you plan to visit loved ones in another city or town, hotels appear to be safer options than guest rooms. Hotels have created touchless systems to minimize contact. Some hotels and motels limit housekeeping to after guests have checked out. You can also waive housekeeping to minimize contact.
5: Wear Masks At Holiday Gatherings
The months behind us have been difficult, and we’ve all had to sacrifice spending time with loved ones. The holidays are typically a time to reconnect, and part of that is seeing each other’s faces. Caring in the time of COVID means wearing a mask when interacting with people outside our immediate household. The virus does not give kind and loving people a pass.
6: Sanitize Your Hands At Every Opportunity
Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a leading voice in the battle against COVID, and he repeatedly urges everyday people to wash their hands and use sanitizer. The CDC guidelines have not changed since the pandemic began and are as follows. Hash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water. Clean your hands using a hand sanitizer with a 60-percent alcohol content or higher. During the holiday, we will all touch surfaces that require us to sanitize afterward. These include shopping carts, gift boxes, door handles, and others. Rethinking everything you touch can be tricky. It may be worthwhile to keep a small container of approved hand sanitizer with you at all times and err on the side of caution.
7: Gift-Giving Health and Safety Tips
The rise of e-commerce allows us to purchase many of our gifts online. They’ll arrive on your doorstep without having to enter crowded retail outlets. Please remember to disinfect the boxes before touching them. Beyond online shopping, supporting local businesses is vital to community success. Consider curbside pickup whenever possible. If you are a visual shopper, do your best to enter stores during low-traffic times and social distance.
8: Get Tested If You Feel Unwell
Friends and family members gather during the holidays because they care. The last thing anyone wants to do is spread COVID to loved ones. If you feel unwell, there is an increased number of rapid testing facilities available. Some give results within 24 hours; others may take a couple of days. If you show any of the COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone who caught the virus, get tested and isolate until you are sure it’s safe to be around people.
It’s essential to keep in mind that these health and safety tips are not only in your best interest. Following these and other precautions help protect the ones you care about. In many ways, health and safety precautions are another expression of love and affection. By following the guidelines and using good judgment, you can give the gift of good health.
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