December 2, 2020
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 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.
†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. As a result, under our customer identification program, we must ask for your name, street address, mailing address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.
*The process uses a “soft” credit inquiry to determine whether a loan offer is available, which does not impact your credit score. If you continue with the application process online and accept a loan offer, or are referred to a branch and continue your application there, we will pull your credit report and credit score again using a “hard” credit inquiry. This “hard” credit inquiry may impact your credit score.