Holiday season with COVID-19

Holiday+season+with+COVID-19

Many Americans would like to spend the holidays with their families, like usual however, amidst a pandemic this is not the safest thing to do.

Despite the looming health concerns, many people will still continue with their holiday plans with friends and family. So how do we make the holidays safer while still spending time with the people we love?

For Thanksgiving, many people used Zoom to connect with their family and friends. This could be used for Christmas dinner, Hanukkah, and other holidays as well.

“People could do Zoom calls with their families to reduce the person-to-person contact,” senior Victoria Russell said. “This way people can still catch up with relatives and spend family time together while simultaneously doing it in a safe way.”

Zoom and Google Meets have been instrumental in trying to function normally and meeting with people in a safe manner. Despite the accessibility of these resources, there will be families that get together in person like usual.

“If people do get together with their families in person for the holidays, which some inevitably will, wearing masks could help to stop the spread of COVID-19,” senior Jack Shoemaker said.

In addition to wearing masks, families could limit the amount of people in the house to make sure that everyone can stay the recommended six feet away from one another.

Another precaution is to ensure that the space in which you are celebrating is well ventilated. This could include opening windows and doors to help with air flow or having the air conditioner or heat set on continuous circulation.

The hosting household should be disinfected before and after the family gathering to kill any lingering bacteria. Advising frequent hand washing during the event can also help.

“The only person that is coming to my house to celebrate other than my immediate family is my brother who lives in Akron,” Shoemaker said. “For safety reasons we are disinfecting our house before he comes and after he leaves.”

The pandemic is obviously causing changes in the way that some people celebrate, but this is not being mandated so there will inevitably be a spike in COVID-19 cases after the holiday season.

“I think that we will see a spike in COVID-19 numbers after the holidays due to the fact that people want to spend the holidays with their family and friends as well as having a lack of concern for the thousands of people that are getting sick and dying,” Russell said.

People are becoming more impatient as quarantine first started in March. Many are going to want to spend this time with their families and are becoming desensitized to how deadly and contagious the virus is.

“I think we will see a spike in COVID-19 numbers after the holidays because people want to spend the holidays with their family and friends and they lack concern for the thousands of people that are getting sick and dying,” Russell said.

Considering this, we must be prepared for the weeks following the holidays. 

If you do go to a family gathering, consider quarantining for two weeks afterwards as recommended by the CDC in case it turns out that you could have been exposed. 

Even if you do not attend a large gathering, staying home for the first few weeks in January could be beneficial for you to ensure that you will not be exposed to the virus.

There are many alternative ways to spend the holidays virtually as well as safety precautions to keep in-person gatherings as safe as they can be. Using these methods of celebration can help to save the lives of your family and friends.