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Celebrating the Holiday Season during COVID-19

social distancing holiday

Since it is impossible to predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will play out, celebrating this year’s holiday season may be different from what we’re used to.

Recent guidelines by the CDC warn that the forthcoming holiday celebrations need to embrace safety steps to minimize the risk of spreading and contracting the virus. Here’s everything you need to know about celebrating this holiday season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why Celebrating Holiday Season This Year Could be Different

As we prepare for fall and winter holiday celebrations, the CDC guidelines should help families, individuals, and communities protect themselves from the virus. When planning for a holiday party, everyone should follow the CDC recommendations.

According to the CDC, virtual gatherings or ones with only immediate household members can pose a lower risk of transmission.

Guidelines recommend that if people meet in person for Christmas and other holiday celebrations, they should maintain small groups, celebrate outdoors, evaluate the local virus status, and adopt social distancing and mask-wearing to lower the risk of infection.

Additionally, shopping for the holiday season will surely be different. According to NCTA guidelines, customers and workers should use the instituted foot-traffic and sanitization procedures when shopping.

Similarly, Santa restrictions are likely to be executed in venues like shopping centers and malls.

According to the CDC guidelines, cutting down on shared commodities and selecting one person to serve all meals, as well as embracing potluck-style dishes, can help keep your family safe during this unprecedented time.

How to Decorate Your Home during This Year’s Holiday Season

In these times of isolation and uncertainty, celebrating these holidays with family means more than ever. Since many celebrations will be indoors with your loved ones, you may want to ensure you have the right interior décor and play your favorite music for your family.

Using simple budding and greenery branches from your yard could bring a lovely arrangement in the home.

Additionally, you could consider preparing everyone’s favorite dishes and embracing technology to connect with other members who you can’t meet with in person.

Preparing for the Holiday Season

Winter and fall celebrations like New Year’s, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah, usually attract large gatherings and involve a lot of traveling, which may expose people to the virus.  Meetings that have adopted preventive measures, such as hand washing, mask-wearing, and social distancing, are less likely to pose risks to the attendees.

Before the Holiday Celebrations

If you’ll be hosting a celebration, the CDC has laid out some tips on hosting a safe gathering. Here are some considerations to make when hosting a holiday celebration:

  • Opt for an outdoor celebration as much as possible. If it’s not possible, make sure the venue is well ventilated and avoid crowded areas.
  • Host celebrations with people from your locality.
  • Provide relevant information to the attendees about safety guidelines and encourage attendees to bring supplies like masks and hand sanitizers.

Attending a Holiday Celebration

If you’ll be invited to any celebration, ensure you follow the CDC guidelines for attending parties. Here’s a list of some considerations to put in place when attending a holiday party:

  • Bring supplies to keep you safe (such as a mask)
  • Check with the event organizer for any information regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • If the event involves people from other localities, avoid physical contact with people outside your household.

Holiday Travel

Holiday travels increase the chances of spreading and contracting the virus. According to the CDC, staying home is a sure way to keep yourself and others safe. However, if you decide to travel, strictly follow the following guidelines:

  • Ensure you put on your mask in every public place you visit.
  • Ensure you maintain a distance of 6 feet with anyone who is not from your home.
  • Clean your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds
  • Apply a hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
  • Avoid contact with COVID-19 positive individuals.
  • Ensure you don’t touch your mouth, eyes, and nose.

Limit Physical Contact with Shared Items and Commonly Touched Surfaces

Disinfect and clean commonly touched areas and all shared items using the EPA-approved disinfectants. Ensure you use contactless garbage bins and use gloves when disposing of or handling trash.

Keeping Safe Around Food and Drinks

Currently, there is no evidence linking eating or handling food to spreading COVID-19. However, it’s possible to contract the COVID-19 by touching objects or surfaces that have been contaminated. Try to maintain good hygiene practices to reduce or eliminate foodborne diseases. The following practices may help reduce your risk:

  • Confirm every attendee washes their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after serving or preparing foods.
  • Encourage attendees to bring their own drinks.
  • Limit the number of people going in and out of the food preparation areas such as the kitchen.
  • Put on your mask whenever preparing or serving food to people who are not from your household.
  • Avoid self-serve drinks or food. Instead, use the grab-and-go meal options where possible.
  • Opt for healthy beverage and food options, such as vegetables, whole grains, no-calorie beverages, and fruits to maintain good health.

Embracing Safety after Holiday Celebrations

If you’ve been involved in high-risk activities or you may be exposed during the holidays, take the following measures for 14 days after the event:

  • Get tested for COVID-19.
  • Avoid being around highly vulnerable groups.
  • Stay indoors and isolate as much as possible.

If you experience symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, like cough, fever, or breathing difficulties, or if you’re already positive for COVID-19, contact  your healthcare provider immediately. Follow CDC guidelines and the public-health guidelines on community-related exposure.

Personal loans for the holiday season from Mariner Finance

Need a loan to help with holiday expenses?  A personal loan could come in handy to cover costs.

Apply for a personal loan* for this holiday season, from the comfort of your home.

The information provided in this article does not constitute financial advice and is provided for educational purposes only without any express or implied warranty of any kind. This article is not intended as legal, tax, investment, or any other advice, and Mariner Finance does not offer credit repair services. Consider talking with an appropriate qualified professional for specific advice. Blog posts are for informational purposes only.