The holiday season is almost upon us and things are bound to be a bit different this year. As countries continue to see record-breaking numbers of daily cases of COVID-19, we have to keep social distancing in mind to keep our loved ones safe. As we’ve seen through the surge in COVID-19 cases, the pandemic didn’t stop for the summer holidays and certainly isn’t going to skip holiday parties. Despite what you may be seeing among friends, family, and influencers on social media, large group gatherings are still dangerous.
The CDC has released guidelines for winter holiday celebrations. First and foremost, it’s stressed that when planning a holiday celebration consider the current COVID-19 levels in your community. Gathering together isn’t worth risking the health of your loved ones and could jeopardize your community if it becomes a virus-spreading event.
At the very least you should limit the numbers of attendees at your holiday gathering for the sake of everyone’s health. Ideally, for the lowest-risk festivities, celebrate only with those in your household or within your pandemic pod who are adhering to preventative behaviors including social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing. The CDC suggests that guests who plan to attend in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of their household avoid outside contact for 14 days before the gathering.
If you must attend an in-person holiday party, the CDC recommends avoiding using restrooms and any sort of close contact including bumping elbows and hugs. The CDC stresses that indoor gatherings pose more risk especially if the doors and windows are closed. Additionally, this isn’t the year to catch up with loved ones who live far away as traveling poses a higher risk which can be especially dangerous for family elders or those with pre-existing conditions.
On the special holiday, you could share a meal virtually or prepare traditional recipes and drop them off for family and neighbors. Celebrating virtually doesn’t quite bring the same sort of holiday cheer, but it is the safest way to keep everyone safe.