During a typical November and December, millions of people gather around the table for a delicious meal and merriment. But as we know, this year has been anything but typical! If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season, here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy. We would like to emphasize that the surest way to keep everyone healthy is to stay home and celebrate only with the people who live in your home. We also realize that spending quality time with extended family and friends is important.
COMMUNICATION: The first step is clear communication. Whether you’re welcoming guests or traveling to see others, start a conversation about the precautions you’ll take and what kind of safety measures you plan to observe. For example...
GO OUTSIDE: If weather permits, eat outside! If it’s too cold to enjoy your meal outdoors, plan outside activities instead of indoor activities. Going on family walks is great ANY time, not just during a pandemic.
PRE and POST ISOLATE: Self isolate before and after your trip as much as possible to limit the possibility of spreading a virus. Remember that anyone can be an asymptomatic carrier of coronavirus! Cutting down on socializing in your community helps protect the family you’re visiting. Staying home as much as possible after your visit helps protect your community from anything you were exposed to on your trip. This is a season for kindness and thinking of others - social distancing and isolating when appropriate is the ultimate thoughtful gift!
DRIVE IF POSSIBLE: If you’re close enough, avoid the airport. Your interactions will be far fewer on a road trip than traveling by plane. Ventilation opportunities are far better, and you’ll have far more opportunities to introduce your children to the wonderful songs of your youth. ?
MAKE A PLAN: Make a plan for what will happen if someone does start showing symptoms of COVID-19.
CHANGE THE DATE: If it works with everyone's schedules, have get-togethers on the wrong dates! Try a Thanksgiving feast the weekend before or after Thanksgiving! Move Christmas Eve to January 2nd! Less people will be traveling, so there will be fewer people to come in contact with. Hey - Christmas in July sounds nice too ?
SAYING NO IS OK: If you don't feel comfortable gathering around others, THAT'S OK! Tell your family and friends how you feel. They will likely understand and may have the same concerns. Holiday games and gatherings over Zoom or FaceTime won't be perfect, but you can make them more fun with some planning! Scavenger hunts, charades, there are lots of family games like these that can be virtually adapted. You can cook together, eat together, and plan to ship gifts early for virtual opening!
Don’t forget to bring plenty of face masks and hand sanitizer, wash your hands as often as possible, and don’t forget to pack a toothbrush! Cheers, and merry holidays to our patient families!