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The 2020 Holidays Are Here
Your Health Magazine
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The 2020 Holidays Are Here

How To Stay Safe With Gatherings and Family Celebrations

The year 2020 will be remembered for a lot of things – the pandemic, the shutdown, the election. Not to mention, how many birthday parties and weddings have either been canceled or postponed? Now we have the major holidays to consider. What to do now?

Holiday and family gatherings will be remembered for being different than any other year in our memory, with more concerns about the coronavirus pandemic as cases surge across the country, and for that matter, the whole world.

And, people are just sick of the whole thing. COVID fatigue has set in, and many people feel like there is no way to stay safe, and many people have lost their will to even try to exercise caution. That can lead to some very bad outcomes, for sure!

How Can You Have a Safe Holiday Celebration?

There is a lot of guidance available from the CDC and U.S. Public Health Service to help you plan an event or gathering.

If you’re planning to be around your own family, without additional members coming in, then you should be pretty safe. You should know if the people you are spending time with have symptoms or have tested positive. You should also know who they have been around. Either way, don’t let your guard down. Stay vigilant to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Reasonably speaking, if no one coming to a family gathering has the virus, then there is a very good chance no one will contract it. So, one thing you can do is quarantine for a period of time (7-14 days) prior to a gathering in order to have confidence that you’re not the one bringing the virus with you.

You could all get tested and then maintain your distance prior to the event. It makes sense to get tested anyway if you’re going to be around family and friends during the holidays. But, you must also realize, that after a negative test, you need to keep your distance, if not quarantine to be sure that negative test doesn’t turn positive in the meantime.

If You’re Sick, Everyone Will Understand If You Don’t Show Up

If you do have symptoms, if you’re sick, if you have a fever, then for all intents and purposes, isolate yourself from others, and call the doctor if you get worse. Everyone will understand if you feel like you might be a carrier and don’t want to attend and put everyone else at risk. In fact, people will respect your sensitivity and caring if you think you might have the virus. 

Considering we are in a pandemic, this advice also goes for other colds, like the flu. At this particular time, more than ever, if you’re sick, from anything, people would most likely prefer that you stay home.

Contact Tracing Your Own Guests During A Pandemic.
Honesty and Caution Are Keys To Maintaining Safety.

Now, on the other side of that, how many friends and relatives are coming to join you and you have no idea where they have been or who they have been in contact with? For example, do you have college age people returning from far away places on airplanes, trains, or even in cars? 

This is where it gets a lot trickier. How do you know what to do? One thing that is really important is for people to be honest and forthright about where they have been and who they have been in contact with. This can help avoid the unintended superspreader who unwittingly shows up and transfers the virus to everyone. If you have someone coming who might fall into this category, use caution! 

Safety Recommendations To Help Keep You Safe

The CDC, and every scientific body in the world, recommends hygiene, sanitizing, wearing masks and social distancing. If someone has the virus and you spend too much time too close to them, you will probably contract it as well. If they breath on you, you will probably get it. If you sit in the same chair they were sitting in, this too could result in contracting it. So, be careful! Do the things the CDC and others recommend to keep yourself safe – and keep your loved ones safe too!

Visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/considerations-for-events-gatherings.html.

This a very nice resource to help you understand what we are all up against and how to manage your way through it. We may not be able to completely avoid the virus, but we can put our thinking caps on and learn from the experts and people who have gone through this enough to know what we can and cannot do safely.

One last piece of advice: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you pay attention, you can do a lot to prevent the spread of the virus. There is no cure, so far, so a pound of cure might not even be enough.

Stay safe and have a happy holiday.

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