By now I am sure everyone reading this has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus in some way, shape, or form. 2020 has been a year full of adjusting to a new sense of normalcy. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is important that we continue the adjustments and develop a safe plan for all our Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s festivities.
There are many important things to consider for celebrating amidst the pandemic – first we will start with traveling. The first thing you should consider is what the number of cases looks like to the area you are heading to. If your travel destination is a major city such as New York, Chicago, or Dallas, you may want to consider staying at home and attending a virtual gathering using FaceTime or Zoom. If you are going to a less populated location, with mask mandates and social distancing guidelines already in place – you may be in good shape. Driving is the recommended way of travel via the CDC, as airports and their long layovers pose a significant risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Another key consideration this holiday season is the amount of people at your gathering. If you have a large family, I am sure your typical Christmas parties get to be jam packed. Consider this year only inviting immediate family members and limiting the number of guests to an amount that can be hosted while following social distancing guidelines. Keep in mind, over consumption of alcohol may alter your judgement and make it more difficult to practice preventative measures.
One great tip the CDC also provides is to consider hosting a holiday party outside if your location allows. For those who are attending festivities in colder regions of the U.S., think about renting a large tent with some space heaters to host your guests. This provides much more ventilation and thus reduces the risk of COVID-19 spread.
Lastly, make sure your expectations are clear if you are hosting a holiday party this year. Communicate in advance to your guests that masks will be required, and to stay home if you are feeling ill in anyway. Let them know that you will have the location set up to accommodate CDC guidelines and that they are welcome to attend if they feel comfortable. I will close with one final statement – use common sense. We all know the right things to do to stay safe, just make sure your put them into practice. Wear your mask, social distance, and wash your hands – if we all follow this simple yet effective advice, we will have a fun and enjoyable holiday season.