A lot of things about this year have been unusual. Everyone is adapting to new routines, strategies, and ways of life. With the holidays quickly approaching, we’ll surely need to make more adjustments to stay safe and healthy. Here are some things to consider as you prepare for a different kind of holiday.
For months, we’ve learned about ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That information updates as experts learn more, but keep in mind:
- This new or “novel” strain of coronavirus has not been previously seen in humans, so our bodies don’t know to identify it as a threat.
- Experts are still learning about lasting effects and how quickly the virus spreads.
- Infected individuals can unwittingly spread COVID-19 to others even before experiencing symptoms, and some may not ever show symptoms.
As always, your best defense is to stay vigilant with masks, social distancing, and proper handwashing and sanitization.
WHEN YOU CAN’T BE TOGETHER
Even if you remain at home for the holidays, friends and family are just a phone call or video chat away. You can still stay connected and safely celebrate.
- Set up a Zoom meet-up or Facetime with family and friends and enjoy your meal together with the help of technology. Invite loved ones who live farther away and can’t usually make it home for the holidays.
- Share menu ideas and recipes so everyone has the same food.
- Keep up with traditions together, such as saying prayers, telling stories, or reciting individual gratitude lists.
IF YOU DO GET TOGETHER
Seeing and spending time with loved ones is important, especially around the holidays. But with COVID numbers on the rise, you’ll want to be sure you and your guests are safe. If you host or attend a gathering, have fun but be aware and use extra caution.
- Check the Minnesota Department of Health website to learn the latest updates and infection rates in your area and where your guests live.
- Keep your guest list as limited as possible.
- Allow space for guests from different households to maintain six feet of distance from one another.
- Except when eating or drinking, make sure guests wear masks that cover the nose and mouth.
- Practice safe handwashing and sanitizing, and limit direct contact with common surfaces or shared serving utensils.
As always, please stay home if you have any symptoms, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or are waiting for COVID-19 test results. Older adults with an increased health risk should also avoid attending face-to-face gatherings, just to be safe.
Holidays are important, but so is your health and the safety of those you love. No matter how you plan to celebrate, this year will certainly offer up a different kind of holiday. If you’re overwhelmed by the stresses of the holidays or uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Healthwise is always here to help. Contact us to learn more about keeping your mind and body healthy.