With new cases of COVID-19 spiking nationally once again just as the holiday season is upon us, proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection are more important than ever.
The coronavirus and influenza can spread easily at the sort of large indoor gatherings people look forward to at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Busy shopping malls, crowded airports and large indoor meals can be risky places and activities.
In fact, the most effective way to stay safe this year is to stay home, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises. Anytime people are in close extended contact with others not in their household raises infection risk
Additionally, most forms of travel can make it easier for infection to spread. As well as busy airports and bus stations, long car rides with frequent stops are risky because travelers are put in contact with many different people. And if the destination includes gathering with family or friends at someone’s house, infection can spread there as well.
The good news is there are some things you can do to manage or minimize infection risks over the holiday season. The following tips and guidance can help you and your family stay safe.
- Take extra precautions while traveling
- Wear a mask at all times
- Keep your distance
- Minimize contact with others during stops on long drives.
- Readjust your holiday gathering
- Plan for smaller gatherings with friends and family who live near you and have been following safe practices.
- Consider cooking and delivering a meal to a neighbor or friend who may be alone.
- Plan a virtual holiday and eat all together via Zoom
- Shop Safer
- Plan ahead to avoid crowds
- Shop online if necessary
- Think about gifts in a different way – can you give experiences or other consumables that don’t require purchase at a store?
The bottom line is 2020 has forced us to adapt and adjust the ways we gather and socialize. We’ve learned that we can still gather and celebrate safely by taking precautions.
The holiday season might be the biggest challenge yet. By remaining mindful of the highly infectious nature of coronavirus, we can still enjoy the things we love about the holidays.
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