The festive season is at the doorstep. This could not have come at a better time especially when considering all the months spent in isolation, economic anxiety, and despair. It makes sense that most people want to partake in family gatherings and celebrations and be able to share a hug with loved ones. Sadly, the reality is that COVID-19 is still a significant threat and keeping safe should be our number one priority. This means we should all try to incorporate the following lessons in life and considerations this holiday season.
Celebration Considerations for the Festive Season
While you are making celebration plans for this festive season, the first consideration should be to check local health and safety laws, rules and regulations that are specific to your Province/State or community. What follows are five other considerations:
- Keep practicing the three standards
Practicing the three standards would arguably be the most important consideration for this holiday season. It includes; wearing a mask, sanitizing/washing your hands and social distancing. While these have been divisive issues all-year, it is important to note that they actually help to reduce the spread of the infection. And of course, they are going to be relevant now more than ever because people will be tempted to be part of large gatherings. Try to practice all three whenever possible. The goal is to prevent droplets released when talking, coughing or sneezing, to leave an infected person and contaminate an unsuspecting recipient.
- Organize indoor celebrations with your housemates
Sharing holiday meals with the people in your household is one of the safest ways to celebrate during this holiday season. Get creative and find some activities you will enjoy. You still need to take precautions though. For example, try to do your grocery shopping early enough to avoid large crowds on the busy days leading to Christmas. Loved ones who plan to spend the holiday together should also quarantine for 14 days in advance of the celebration. Do your best to avoid large indoor parties because they are very risky.
- Dine virtually with other family members and friends
While the festive season often gives us the opportunity to spend quality time with the people we love; it is important to acknowledge the fact that these are special times that require special measures. For some people, this could mean hosting a virtual celebration through video platforms with family members. In addition, if you live near loved ones, you could organize a meal exchange. That is, each household makes different holiday dishes and then makes distanced exchanges at the front door. Alternatively, you could order food from your favorite restaurant and dine together via a Zoom call.
- Host a small outdoor dinner
If you absolutely must host or be part of a gathering during this COVID-19 holiday season, make sure it is a small outdoor celebration. Outdoor events are considerably safer because there is more ventilation. However, this does not mean that all the risks of infection are eliminated. Precautions still need to be taken to ensure the safety of the attendees. This includes avoiding hugs and handshakes, wearing masks when possible, and increasing separation between attendees when it is time to eat.
- Avoid unnecessary travels
For this COVID-19 holiday season, it would be advisable to avoid all unnecessary travels by train, airplane and automobile. Gatherings with guests coming from different regions or countries pose a higher risk than those with attendees from the same local area. While they might be coming from low-risk areas, they will still have to interact with people in waiting rooms, or people from other regions sitting close to them as they travel. This consideration becomes even more relevant when people are traveling to visit older people or people with chronic illnesses.
These are crucial times. It is imperative that we continue adhering to the lessons in life we have learned during the COVID-19 era. Additionally, because people often feel the need to socialize during the holiday season, we need to be even more diligent and should incorporate the considerations discussed above.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ONE AND ALL!
MAY THE HOLIDAY SEASON BRING LOTS OF LOVE, PEACE AND JOY!