BY LAUREN HANA MD, BGHC- As the December holiday season approaches, here are just a few things to keep in mind when planning your celebrations.
• Be polite, say please and thank you.
• Be kind, give each other space.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Playing outside is best.
• Don’t talk with your mouth full.
• Say a prayer of thanks, sanitize your hands and then eat. A 10-Point Harm Reduction Strategy
Here are 10 ways to limit risks and make your celebration as safe as possible:
1. Stay outside as much as possible, even for eating if you can.
2. Seat households together at spaced tables outdoors.
3. Move the television to an outdoor location if possible.
4. Have one person serve the goodies from your chow line with clean hands and a mask to avoid multiple touches on the serving utensils.
5. Use disposable plates, cups and eating/serving utensils (spraying to rinse drinking glasses and silverware can aerosolize germs).
6. Limit the number attending.
7. Set a time limit.
8. Be careful with celebrating (alcohol brings down our inhibitions and our guard).
9. Give that much-needed hug. Go outside, mask up, hold your breath, they should too, hug tight for 30 seconds, back off, wash hands! The average person can hold their breath for 45 seconds to one minute, so push it if you want. (Just don’t push it too long and pass out!!)
10. Stay home if you are ill.
We are just starting to see the surge of COVID-19 infections related to Thanksgiving gatherings and travel and the next couple of weeks will likely continue this daunting trend. Remember, the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention still recommends not traveling and not gathering in-person with those outside your household for the holidays. Think about how much we all care for our loved ones, family and friends and consider foregoing the in-person get-togethers this year in exchange for having many more in the years to come!