How to celebrate the holidays safely during COVID-19
The holidays are a time for friends and family to gather and celebrate traditions. However, during this pandemic year, it’s important to consider alternatives to previous traditions such as travel and sharing meals. These times call for creativity and perhaps a twist to our standard holiday fare.
Saria Saccocio, MD, shared tips for celebrating the holiday season, while keeping your family healthy and safe.
Consider a virtual celebration
“While virtual holiday celebrations are not the same as welcoming relatives with big hugs and holiday food favorites, they are much safer than an unexpected guest of COVID-19 being sent home with your guests or brought into your home,” said Dr. Saccocio. “Though it can be difficult to imagine the holidays without grandma or another high-risk family member, consider their safety and yours when thinking about how to celebrate this year. Perhaps swapping recipes or delivering favorite family side dishes safely would create a new ritual to continue.”
If gathering in person
Dr. Saccocio offered these tips for gathering and sharing a meal with others during the holiday season.
- Keep the groups as small as possible
- Gather outdoors and avoid being inside
- Avoid buffet-style meals
- Designate a server for the meal to avoid sharing utensils
- Bring the meal for your own household
Also, remember to get your flu vaccine at least two weeks before social gatherings to prevent additional spread of respiratory viruses.
When it comes to gift exchanges, an online swap of gift cards or home deliveries may add a twist to in-person gatherings. And instead of parties, consider collecting and donating money to help meet the needs in your community.
“Though the year has been challenging and our spirits have been tested, opportunities remain to celebrate, rejoice and gather safely. For all celebrations, remember to socially distance, wear masks and wash your hands,” said Dr. Saccocio.
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