As the holidays approach and we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, we want to wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy season. We understand this time of year can be particularly challenging regarding public health even outside of a pandemic, so we want to give you some tips on staying healthy and helping preserve the health of your loved ones.
What steps can I take to keep my family safe during the holidays?
The holiday season typically means traveling to see loved ones and spending time with family. But how do you keep tradition while still following safety guidelines? Here are a few steps you can take.
- Wash your hands frequently. You’ve probably heard this a million times in the past few months, and it is also included in the CDC guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19. This is especially important if you are spending time outside of your home if you are preparing food, or after you sneeze or cough. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important to your health in general, but it is especially important in regards to COVID-19.
- Only travel if it is absolutely necessary. Many areas of the country are beginning to reinstate stay-at-home orders. However, even if your destination is still “open for business” it is important to consider the health risks you could pose to yourself and others by traveling during the height of a pandemic. If possible, keep your holiday plans local and follow safety guidelines for your area.
- Wear a mask. When you are unable to stay home, wear a mask in public places, and maintain a social distance of 6 feet from others outside your household.
- Limit gatherings and exposure to high-risk individuals. It may be tempting to continue family traditions and attempt a “normal” holiday dinner with your family, but this year you may need to get creative when making your holiday plans.
How can I still celebrate with high risk individuals?
As we know, older individuals and those with underlying conditions are at the highest risk for coronavirus complications, and large gatherings are discouraged and even prohibited in some areas to help reduce the spread of disease. Large gatherings, even in your own home, may prove dangerous for your loved ones and as such should be avoided.
Instead, consider opting for a virtual celebration where family members can enjoy each other’s company while still staying safe and healthy. Want to make the holiday more special for older or high-risk individuals? Send them a handwritten card letting them know you are thinking of them, make them a plate of your homemade holiday dinner and leave it on their doorstep, or invite them to a virtual game night.
Remember to limit gatherings to those in your immediate household, but get creative with how to include your loved ones in a safe, socially distanced manner.
It is important to note that the best way to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19 is by limiting your exposure and following the guidelines given by the CDC for social distancing and preventative measures. Though it can be hard to be away from your loved ones, it is important to prioritize the health and safety of those around you and follow these guidelines even during the holidays. For more information about how you can stay safe this holiday season contact Jeeo Health Center today.