With the holidays quickly approaching, the looming question has been how to manage family gatherings during COVID-19?
When discussing whether to hold a family gathering during the pandemic there are no easy answers, especially considering that the U.S is experiencing another massive spike in cases.
The safest thing to do this year is to simply stay home. Since that option is not ideal for many families, we have found some safe suggestions to help with this year's holidays.
The first step to holding a safe gathering is to communicate with your family as soon as possible. Find a way to acknowledge everyone’s concerns and discuss ways that ensure all involved are comfortable. Especially don’t make those who are uncomfortable feel pressure to attend.
One safe way to celebrate the holidays is to dine together virtually. This solution allows you to have the feeling of being surrounded by family without the risk of being in an enclosed space together. While this may be harder for older family members with technological issues, it is safer for everyone's health.
Another way to connect with family members is to send them food. Sending food along with a nice note is a great way to show your family you are thinking of them during the holidays without the risk of spreading COVID-19. If you live close enough to your family, you can even make the food at home and drop it off for them.
If you feel the need to host an in-person event, you can consider scaling back the number of people you invite. You may want to invite a traditional crowd but this year it may be best to keep it to your immediate family. The smaller the number of people, the less risk there is for exposure.
If your family is insistent on being together, consider hosting a gathering outside. If you live in a warmer climate, take advantage of the nice weather by throwing an outdoor event. Be it a park or your own backyard, it’s easier for multiple families to gather and stay at a safe distance outside. Portion the food in advance into separate containers and distribute them at the gathering to minimize contact.
Another way to reduce the risk at gatherings is for everyone to be tested. Unfortunately, his plan is not completely foolproof. Not everyone is comfortable with getting tested and people can still contract the virus between testing and receiving their results.
It can be very tempting to return to normalcy and host or attend an in-person holiday gathering, but this year we need to be conscious of the potential spread of COVID-19 and do our part to flatten the curve.