Credit: torbakhopper, Creative Commons, https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/cba97bb4-4a58-4886-a0b2-a02450831b53
With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is still unclear how celebrations will play out. Thanksgiving and Christmas are part of the season of giving, and that means spending time with loved ones. With that being said, this year is a bit different. During this pandemic it is unsafe to celebrate in our usual ways. Unfortunately, big parties and festive traditions can no longer happen. So how can we stay safe this season and still have fun during the holidays?
The CDC recommends that people still follow precautions such as social distancing, washing hands, and wearing a mask. But even then we have to go above and beyond to ensure that our friends and family stay safe. The best way to do that is to virtually connect with non-household members via Zoom or comparable platforms. Not only do you still get to talk to them and make your holiday special, but it lowers the risk of getting sick to nearly nothing (versus seeing them in person, which is a much riskier decision). You could simply sit down and talk, or you could decide to have a virtual dinner together. It is a new take on an old tradition and makes for a perfect holiday (or the next-best thing, given the pandemic).
Attending a gathering during these harsh times is problematic, but if people do it anyway, the CDC has recommended the following some steps for optimal safety. Bring your own food, drinks, plates, and utensils to eliminate contamination. Single-use items can prevent multiple people from coming into contact with the same thing. Being out of the way of crowds and high-traffic areas while wearing a mask is a great idea as well. To be clear: these recommendations are great if people are still gathering, but experts are clear that hosting a party is not necessary and should be avoided at all costs for the sake of everyone’s health.
There are many amazing ways to still feel connected with your friends and family. I asked Oluwaseun Ariyo, a student here at Oak Forest High School, about plans for this upcoming holiday season: “We will be celebrating the holiday with the family that lives in our house. We won’t be inviting anyone this holiday.” Celebrating with the people closest to you can still be a fun experience, and it makes for many joyful memories that you can cherish for years to come.
However you choose to celebrate, take into account the seriousness of this pandemic. It is still dangerous, so it is best to do your part and decrease the risk of COVID-19.