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Thriving During the Holidays

by Torrie Smith

The holiday season is upon us and this year is a lot different than years past. While we are craving normalcy and are tired of precautions, we are still in a pandemic and we should still be careful this holiday season so we, and our loved ones, are here for the holidays to come.

Thanksgiving is normally a time to reflect and be thankful, but in a time like this, it might be hard to find something to be grateful for. We all want things to be back to normal but with record breaking new cases of COVID-19 occurring around the country every day we still need to be cautious. Here are my top tips for having a safe holiday season.

Consider Virtual Gatherings – To keep things extra safe this year, consider gathering virtually. Especially if you have members of your family that are elderly that you want to see. It can also be important if you have family or friends that live in an area with high rates of infection.

Keep Your Distance – If you do have an in-person gathering, each household should remain 6 foot apart. It may sound silly, but if you talk to anyone that has been affected by this virus it is something you should really consider. We would all hate that our family gatherings could be the reason for an outbreak in our areas.

Keep It Small – Limit the number of people you invite to your holiday gatherings to ensure households can keep a 6-foot distance. Avoiding direct contact with other households including hugging and handshakes is also recommended for safe gatherings.

Have It Outside – Having your gathering outside gives more room for more people and can make it easier to maintain a 6-foot distance. Air ventilation reduces the airborne concentration of the virus and reduces the risk of transmission from the air. If weather doesn’t allow for an outside gathering, you can open windows and doors or you can use an air purifier.

Wear Your Mask and Wash Your Hands – Continue to wear your mask and wash your hands often. Your mask is important to protect your loved ones and their mask protects you. Wearing a mask isn’t just about yourself, your mask is a selfless act to protect those around you. Continue to wash your hands often and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with dirty hands.

I know we are all tired of all these rules and we just want to go back to normal, but we are still in a pandemic, people are still getting sick, and people are still dying. Each day we practice social distancing and staying safe from the virus is one day closer to being through these strange times. Our main priority this holiday season should be to keep our friends, family, and ourselves safe so that in a year or whenever this is over, our loved ones are still here to celebrate with us. So we all need to think, would we rather rush back to normal and risk putting ourselves and others at risk or be patient and all of us are around for the long haul well after this virus has been eradicated.

For more information about safe holiday practices or to see where I researched my information, consult the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.

For more information about cleaning and disinfecting, check out this CDC webpage: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html.

To get information about masks, go to this website from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.

 
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