How to Celebrate the Holidays Safely During a Pandemic
by Judy Bokao
Although the year started on a low note due to the novel COVID-19, we are now in the last leg — December — the month of holidays and celebrations. As restrictions are being lifted, things are slowly getting back to normal. People can now travel to meet their families and friends. But since the pandemic is far from over, people are still urged to continue practicing safety measures to protect those who are more vulnerable.
If you plan on traveling either upcountry or outside your region or country for holidays, please observe these steps to keep everyone safe as you celebrate.
If your family is used to celebrating holidays together with friends, it’s recommended that you maintain a small gathering this year. Anecdotal evidence shows that homes are the places where the virus is being transmitted. This is because we assume that our family members are not infected and tend to be more relaxed around our loved ones in terms of preventive measures.
If it’s a must, you celebrate with your family and friends invite only those in your social circle that are keen on practicing pandemic safety measures. Also, make sure that opening doors and windows to well-ventilate your house.
Apart from reducing the number of guests from different households, make sure that each person is at least 6 feet from the other all the time. Also, put emphasis on the guest to avoid hugging or shaking each other hands.
Masks and Hand-Hygiene
If you are holding a gathering and people outside your home environment visit, implement the pandemic safety measures, wear a mask, social distancing and regularly wash your hands. Remember that the virus takes about 14 days before you can see the signs. Someone having COVID-19 might be at the gathering, thus, spread the virus to others if safety measures are not put in place.
Reduce the Number of People in the Kitchen
If you love cooking, you know that holidays are where we showcase our cooking prowess. However, this year, the number of people should be limited to two or three in a large kitchen. Also, make sure that the kitchen is well aerated to minimize sweating, which promotes the spread of the virus. Also, ensure that only one or two people are serving the food, and ensure they are wearing a mask when giving out food. Having a server guarantees that only one person can touch the serving spoon, so no spread of the virus.
Hold the Celebration Outdoors
If you have a large backyard, you can hold the celebration outside; this ensures that you have maximum space for your guests to practice social distancing. The fresh air outside guarantees no sweating, and people are free to move about without colliding with others. If it’s cold, use fire pits to keep everyone warm.
If it’s a bit cold outside, you can set up a tent but make sure to leave one side open for ventilation because a four-sided tent will limit air circulation.
Digital technology has made everything possible, you video conversation with your family and friends irrespective of where they are located. You can celebrate at home with your immediate family. Consequently, you can also have a virtual celebration via Zoom or Skype with other family members and friends.
Bring Extra Safety Supplies
Ahead of the celebration, ask your guests to bring extra supplies to ensure that everyone’s health is safeguarded. The collections include masks, having enough masks prevents swapping or sharing, hand sanitizer, and tissues. If the guests are spending the night, ask them to bring their sanitary items such as towels and soaps, or stock each for single-use.
Disinfect surfaces commonly touched by people and use those garbage cans that do not require you to open. Lastly, if you have pets, do not allow them to interact with people outside your home.
Observe these safety measures during this month of Christmas to New Year to avoid transmitting COVID-19 to your friends and family.
About the Author:
Judy Bokao is 20 years old and was born in Ethiopia but relocated to Nairobi two years ago. She is passionate about everyone having equal rights and is also big on conservation and speaking up for our planet. Judy loves reading and photography and is just a free-spirited young lady trying to grow into a woman her mom can be proud of.