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The holidays are just around the corner, but it should not be an excuse to stop taking the global health crisis seriously. While it is a tradition for many to spend the holidays visiting relatives and friends from different households, those plans would have to be on hold this year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that things can’t be festive. Here are some ideas that can help you celebrate the season while conforming to socially responsible health practices.
How to Celebrate the Holidays with Distant Loved Ones
Host Viewing Parties
Some families like to watch a good holiday movie as a tradition. With online streaming services and the power of video calls, you can easily host virtual viewing parties with friends and families miles away. And why stop at any other holiday movie? You can watch old home videos, movie sing-a-longs, or maybe get creative by showing homemade videos of how this year went by for each of you.
Send Gifts Through the Mail
Delivery services are readily available to send your gifts to loved ones far away. Most courier services follow a standard health protocol to sanitize packages before handing them over. But if you are planning to send gifts, try sending them out before the holiday rush kicks in. And if there simply isn’t a budget this year for that, you can mail a postcard or send one online. With the rough circumstances this year, your loved ones would understand if gift-giving is something you are unable to do.
How to Have Safe Holiday Gatherings with Nearby Loved Ones
Socializing is still important for your mental health, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have a small gathering for as long as you take every precaution necessary. Take note of the following important reminders to having a socially responsible holiday gathering.
Agree on the Host
Pick one place to spend the holiday celebration. Going to loved ones’ houses or hopping from one party to another is unreasonable and makes contact a lot riskier. Make sure that the agreed upon host lives nearby to you all and has enough space, preferably an open space like a backyard, to host the event. Studies show that open spaces have a lower chance of droplet transmission compared to indoors. If winter is at your doorstep, however, an outdoor celebration may not all be that possible.
Get Tested Prior to the Party
If you want to guarantee that you and the people around you are all virus-free, then might as well get tested. In these types of social gatherings, while wearing masks can prevent the spread, they are not one hundred percent guaranteeing safety. Plus, having this knowledge takes away the burden of not knowing for sure. After receiving the results, stay in self quarantine before heading to the gathering.
Follow Safety Protocols
Keep gatherings to a small and manageable size of 10 or less people. If you are hosting and have relatively less elbow room, you’d have to invite less people than that.
Buffet-style is no longer an option, but luckily with a small number of guests it would not be difficult to provide plated food. Utensils have to be sanitized and not shared.
And most importantly, remind guests to wash and sanitize their hands, avoid physical contact with other guests unless they live with each other or have tested negative.