The very nature of the holiday season is to spend time with loved ones, participate in festivities, or go out and tour the city to witness Christmas lights displays. Because Christmas is so ingrained in us, even a worldwide pandemic won’t stop us from celebrating it — this has been the case last year and health authorities expect the same this coming holiday season.
Even now, a couple of weeks before Christmas, COVID-19 cases are already rising in more than half of U.S. states. Experts think that this may very well be the beginning of a winter surge in many parts of the U.S., especially with holiday festivities and events coming to fruition — not to mention the Omicron variant that’s making its presence known worldwide.
Staying Safe a Priority During the Holidays
With COVID-19 trends looking alarming in the final month of 2021, staying safe and stopping the winter surge is a priority during this holiday season. Even with the holiday spirit taking over, let’s not forget the basic precautions of mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding crowded places when we can. These are little, easy-to-adopt behaviors that could change the course of COVID-19 for the better.
How to Celebrate Christmas Safely
In addition to the basic health and safety measures, here are a few more things to keep in mind to help you and your family celebrate Christmas safely amid COVID-19.
Limit Celebrations to Members of the Household
There is nothing like getting together with distant relatives and friends during the holiday season. But unfortunately, COVID-19 has made social gatherings unsafe, posing the highest risk of transmission.
According to research, 40% to 45% of people infected with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms and often are unaware that they are carrying the virus. But just because an individual is asymptomatic, doesn’t mean that they can’t spread the virus to others.
That’s why health experts recommend that social gatherings be avoided this Christmas. Instead, families are encouraged to celebrate only with members of their household and hold off inviting guests until the COVID-19 situation gets better.
Use Single-Use Plates and Cutlery
The COVID-19 pandemic has made normal, day-to-day things more private. And although Christmas is all about sharing, this could potentially be a medium for the virus to spread. It’s recommended that people use their own plates and cutlery and avoid sharing condiments or utensils with others. In other words, keep what you’ve touched or used to yourself!
Observe Your Own Symptoms
If you plan on celebrating with family and friends this Christmas, make sure that you are confident in your health and are a hundred percent certain you are not sick. As early as now, watch out for symptoms of COVID-19. If you are unwell in any way, do not attend any social gatherings and opt to celebrate using alternative means instead, such as video calls or simply putting it off until you’ve completed your self-quarantine.
Wearing masks is just an extra precaution that could spell the difference between a safe holiday celebration and a gathering that becomes a transmission ground for COVID-19. Make it a habit to wear your face mask both indoors and outdoors, only removing them to eat or drink.
Regular cloth masks cover the face from the nose down, and hence, can hamper socialization and cause miscommunication. Consider getting a clear mask, such as those from Jelli M1, that offer the same level of protection but use a clear panel so that you can show off your holiday smile and communicate with loved ones effectively.
Christmas in the New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic is rewriting Christmas traditions, requiring that we practice extra care and precautions to ensure that we keep not only ourselves safe, but also our families, friends, and the rest of humanity.
Although it’s a compromise, this small Christmas sacrifice allows us to look forward to a better global situation next year — a COVID-free world. This holiday season, let’s give the gift of safety to our loved ones.