This holiday season is going to look drastically different from those of previous years and huge family gatherings will most likely need to adapt to the current state of the world. Since the coronavirus is still a threat, we want to make sure you are enjoying the holidays as safely as possible. We have compiled a list of recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) so you can feel more informed about how to stay happy, healthy, and jolly.
It is very safe to spend the holidays with the members of your immediate household since you have been around each other regularly. However, if you intend to see other relatives and friends outside of your immediate household, there are some precautions you should take.
Firstly, wearing a mask is a crucial activity that can help lower the transmission of the virus. Make sure to wear a mask that is two or more layers over your nose and mouth while covering your chin that securely fits your face. In addition to masking, staying six feet away from others will be a huge tool to utilize, especially for those who are more vulnerable such as the elderly. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
If you intend on going to a gathering, there are a few steps you can take before arrival to stay safe. In addition to washing your hands and wearing a mask, it is important to have a safe area to put your mask when you are eating. Try to bring your food, drinks, plates, utensils, and cups; or use single-use or disposable items if it is not possible. Try to stay out of the food preparation area so you do not accidentally contaminate it. Fewer cooks in the kitchen this season will be important!
Those hosting events can try to minimize the spread of the virus in multiple ways. If weather and outdoor space allow, try to have your event in nature. This will make it easier to social distance, let air circulate, and feel more at ease. If you cannot go outside, try to keep the windows open. In addition, try to limit the number of people you invite to your gathering and discuss in advance your expectations with guests, so no one feels uncomfortable that someone isn’t being considerate. Limit the number of people in the kitchen preparing the food and designate one person to serve so there is less touching of the same utensils. Remember to disinfect and clean surfaces between uses.
Traveling home will be tricker this season more than others. When booking, make sure to check which restrictions are in place. It is advisable to get your flu vaccine since this is also the season for that virus; stay six feet away from people not in your traveling party; and wash and sanitize your hands after touching something and have extra supplies at the ready, just in case. Finally, always wear your mask in the airport and on the flight unless eating or drinking. It is very important to try and not touch your mouth, eyes, nose, or mask while traveling.
Even though we all want to see our families, now is not the recommended time to do so, especially if you feel uncomfortable seeing people. Understand that it is a scary time for many, and you are not the only one with reservations. There are plenty of alternative gathering options, such as virtual video calling parties, holding a holiday movie marathon with your roommates, donating to a local homeless shelter, cooking a meal for yourself or others in your family that you cannot see, and then delivering it to their doorstep.
It is important to stay safe during the holidays, and even if you are seeing people, you can stay safe while doing so. Take these precautions and remember that if you don’t feel comfortable or ready, that is alright. Stay safe and stay healthy.
For more information, please consult the CDC website about how to stay safe during the holidays or you may visit the RPM Mortgage blog to get more updates.