If “the more the merrier” is usually your holiday season motto, you’ll have to rethink things this year.
By thinking small. The CDC recommends limiting your celebration to members of your household only and is strongly recommending that people stay home for Thanksgiving this year. If you’ve been around someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, or if you’re suffering from any COVID-19 symptoms, you know the drill: stay put.
Here are some other factors you should take into account before hosting or heading to a holiday gathering. Consider...
The numbers…Each state has its own rules about the number of people allowed at gatherings right now, but the CDC is stressing that you should try and stick to people from your household. If that’s not realistic, have your meal outside with members of a select few other households. During the gathering, try and stay socially distant (ICYMI, that’s at least six feet away). And here’s your reminder that celebrating with older relatives or those with weakened immune systems requires extra precaution.
The location...Are COVID-19 cases spiking in your area? What about the areas where your guests are traveling from? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes,’ stick to celebrating with your immediate circle this holiday season. Check to see how cases are developing in your area here.
The space…Outdoors is always better than indoors. But if you don’t have a heat lamp or aren’t into wrapping yourself up like a human burrito, remember to ventilate—not hyperventilate. Crack open windows or a door to keep air circulating inside.
The attire...You've heard it before, experts recommend masks. Bonus: this will probably make it easier to pretend you can’t hear your drunk uncle.
The pregame...Consider asking people outside your household to limit social interaction before the gathering, and get tested before coming. Find out where people can get tested in your area here.
The food...Have guests bring their own food. But if you plan to provide some, try to have one person serve all of it so that multiple people aren’t handling serving utensils. Or limit food to options that are best for a party of one. Think: pigs in a blanket, cheese sticks, sliders. Brb, hungry.
The drinks...BYO is in. Ask guests to bring their own drinks or offer single-serve beer, wine, or cocktails.
The party favors...Another BYO. Encourage guests to bring (or provide it for them) hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol, extra masks, and tissues.
Cases are trending upwards nationally. And the holidays could be a make-or-break time for the development of even more COVID-19 cases. Experts also fear a “twindemic”—aka a surge in both flu cases and COVID-19 cases, could overwhelm hospitals. Reminder: get your flu shot if you haven’t already.
No one wants COVID-19 to RSVP ‘yes’ to their holiday gathering. Make sure to stay safe so that you have something to celebrate.
Skimm'd by Becky Murray, Avery Carpenter Forrey, & Jane Ackermann
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