Spread Cheer This Holiday Season, Not COVID-19
Don't give the unwanted gift of COVID-19 to family and friends during the upcoming holidays. While it may be tempting to get together and celebrate as we have in the past, it's important to follow COVID-19 guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Cone Health Infection Prevention Medical Director Cynthia Snider, MD, MPH, talks about how to stay safe while enjoying the holidays and spread cheer instead of COVID-19 this holiday season.
Staying Vigilant About COVID-19 Safety
Especially around the holidays, everybody wants to be with their family. However, it is incredibly risky to gather with people outside of your household at this time, especially with COVID-19 cases climbing locally and nationwide.
Right now, it’s critical to stay vigilant about wearing masks, staying at least six feet apart from each other and avoiding big gatherings. What we recommend for families is to celebrate within their household family members or their "safety bubble." Celebrating with multiple family members coming from long distances is risky.
Minimizing Risk at Holiday Gatherings
Many people are still trying to figure out ways to gather with family members outside of their household. When considering a gathering like this, remember that people who are coming together may be bringing COVID-19 with them unknowingly.
Ways to minimize risk at holiday gatherings include:
- Have guests self-quarantine 14 days prior to gathering.
- Avoid public outings and always wear masks.
- Have 1 person prepare plates and serve food instead of having a buffet-style meal.
- Celebrate outdoors or make sure your house has good air circulation.
- Wear masks when within 6 feet of others.
- Wash hands throughout.
Spreading Cheer Safely
How can we find that replacement for our holiday celebrations as opposed to being in person? There are some creative suggestions out there! Virtual platforms can help us stay connected while also helping us stay safe. For example, sharing a meal at the same time but in different households can be done using a virtual platform. Share recipes and pictures of what you’re having and check in throughout the day!
You can also spread cheer by remembering the community members in your neighborhood that live alone or may not have someone to talk to. COVID-19 has had a very large impact on people. Isolation has an impact on mental health. But just checking in on someone with a phone call, a text or a card can help create a sense of togetherness.
Caring for Yourself and Your Community
Whether we're celebrating the holidays or just going about our everyday activity, it’s key to remember that we must prevent COVID-19 - it should always be at the top of our minds. Continue to follow with the three Ws, wear a mask and avoid large gatherings. Doing this not only protects yourself, but also protects our community as a whole.
If you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19 during the holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Take a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment and learn more about seeking care for COVID-19 at conehealth.com/coronavirus.