The year 2020 has been quite unusual. The Covid-19 global pandemic disrupted summer vacation, traditional school year starts and now the fall and winter holidays. For the first time in history, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for Americans to safely celebrate the holidays.
Wash your hands often and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The CDC says this should be done after someone has been in a public place, after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will also work.
The CDC encourages everyone to continue wearing cloth masks in public and to continue practicing social distancing. It recommends everyone to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with.
Food and Drink Safety Tips
As of now, there is no evidence that suggests handling food or eating is associated with spreading the coronavirus. However, it could spread if someone touches a surface or object, including food, food packaging or utensils where respiratory droplets have landed then they touch their face, nose or mouth.
Officials suggest celebrating virtually or only with family members, which poses only a low risk of spreading the virus. People who shouldn’t attend a holiday gathering this year include those with or exposed to the coronavirus and people who have an increased risk for severe illness.
If you are hosting a holiday gathering, the CDC asks that people consider the following steps to keep everyone safe:
Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities
Try and limit guests to just people in the local area
Limit the number of guests as much as possible
Encourage guests to wear masks and use hand sanitizer
Limit people around the food preparation area
Wear a mask while preparing food or serving others
Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items
Avoid any self-serve food or drink options
The CDC also encourages guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. It recommends keeping music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.
If someone develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive after a gathering, they should immediately contact the host and others that attended the event.
Donate to Those in Need
This holiday season donations are especially crucial as many people have lost loved ones or are experiencing financial hardships. Consider volunteering your time or donating money to an organization or charity that’s meaningful to you in lieu of having a big holiday gift. You can also donate your time by checking in on elderly neighbors and offering to run their errands.
However you choose to celebrate, I wish you a happy and HEALTHY holiday season! -Elise