Happy holidays from everyone at Casey Devoti & Brockland! As we enter this season of joy and gratitude, we understand this year’s celebrations will look quite different from the ones we normally enjoy. Even with vaccines on the horizon, rising case numbers across the country mean we must take every precaution to keep each other safe. Here are a few tips we recommend when planning your Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s or other holiday plans this year.
Consider Staying Home
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continue to state that the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to stay home with the people you live with. This offers zero risk of infecting others with the coronavirus, especially those at an increased risk for severe illness, such as the elderly and those with asthma.
Move Family Visits Online
Even if you’re staying home, you can still connect with your loved ones this holiday season. The easiest solution here is video chat. FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom make it easy for us to be in the same room, even if we’re miles away. If your loved ones haven’t used these apps before, try walking them through it on the phone a few days before the holiday. That way, they’re ready to go for the big day with the whole family.
With video chat, you can easily recreate many of your favorite holiday traditions like:
- Sharing stories
- Playing games, like Bingo or Charades
- Watching movies
Some relatives, however, may find these apps confusing or overwhelming. If that’s the case, we recommend an old-fashioned phone call with everyone on speakerphone. This year’s holidays may feel particularly lonely to our elderly friends and family so try to make sure they feel included if the family is getting together online.
If You Travel…
We understand some people may decide to weigh the risks and move forward with in-person gatherings this holiday season. If that’s the case, there are still several measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. We also recommend checking COVID-related data around your destination. If infection rates are particularly high or if the area’s hospitals are at capacity, you should adopt rigorous safety precautions or consider not traveling.
Those planning to travel during the holidays should make a plan to reduce their risk of infection while in transit. This includes:
- Choosing to drive instead of fly
- Traveling only with members of your household
- Wearing a mask in public spaces, such as grocery stores and gas stations
- Considering asking everyone to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling together
If You Stay the Night…
With Christmas falling on a Friday this year, many travelers will choose to stay with friends and family for the whole weekend. This, obviously, carries a much higher risk for COVID infections. Hosts and their guests should work together to mitigate that risk during the entire duration of the visit. That includes:
- Guests washing their clothes and masks upon their arrival
- Guests washing their hands upon arrival and throughout their stay
- Wearing masks while in close proximity to one another
- Maintaining social distancing (at least six feet) whenever possible
- Opening windows to improve ventilation and spending time outdoors whenever possible
- Monitoring for any symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or cough
Be Well This Holiday Season
As we look back on 2020, we understand it has been a year of hardship and turmoil. Still, we firmly believe that, with the right precautions, we can all enjoy a joyous holiday season with those that matter most. From all of us at Casey Devoti & Brockland, we wish you and yours the very best.