Enjoy a COVID-Safe Holiday
The Coronavirus pandemic turned 2020 into a year unlike any other. As the end of the year approaches, the virus poses challenges beyond just school and work. The new question is how to safely celebrate the upcoming holiday season and maintain the family traditions that mean so much to so many.
The good news is that it will likely be a temporary problem. With vaccine development underway and availability expected to peak by next summer, the 2021 holiday should allow for a return to near-normalcy. In the meantime, your planning may require tough decisions and could benefit from some informed creativity.
Virtually the Same
For detailed information evaluating the risk of a family gathering, the CDC has compiled a list of considerations to supplement any local advisories or restrictions. It includes well documented guidance, such as limiting the number of people congregating, taking advantage of the outdoors, maintaining distance, wearing masks, and basing decisions on the community’s level of spread.
However, those who decide to keep their interactions within the household don’t need to abandon extended family completely. Start planning now to designate specific times to connect via technology with family members you would typically see in person. While it won’t be precisely the same, getting together electronically will allow you to see and speak with loved ones, safely expanding your gathering.
Choose a technologically savvy family member to serve as the virtual host, and don’t forget to take advantage of features such as digital breakout rooms to give everyone a chance to catch up with less chaos. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s Eve, a little proactive planning means you can still embrace your family’s traditions of enjoying a favorite meal, game, or movie together, even if it’s through a screen.
As mentioned, the safety of an in-person get-together is determined by the commitment to adhering to CDC guidance. If you do make plans to visit friends and family this holiday, it’s best to limit the numbers. Those with elevated risk are best served by avoiding face-to-face interactions altogether. The rest should quarantine appropriately before arriving and consider making their visit contingent on a negative test.
If weather permits, move the party outdoors. Despite any other preventative steps taken, wearing a mask and social distancing will provide an added layer of protection for you and those around you that shouldn’t be dismissed.
Christmas in July
Alternatively, it could be worth considering making a substantial change to your holiday schedule. If a virtual and social-distanced holiday just doesn’t cut it for you and your family, blocking out a date this summer to make up for lost time might be a solution.
Assuming a vaccine is readily available by that time, planning a mid-year celebration with friends and family can take some of the pain out of the difficulties of this year. Besides, by 2021 there’s no doubt we’ll all have earned an extra holiday.
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