The holidays are coming, and that means visiting friends and family, attending parties, and indulging in festive foods and drinks. There are parades, crowded stores filled with holiday shoppers, and indoor gatherings. However, with the pandemic this year, is any of that even possible? This year, there are more things to consider for these gatherings than just drunk drivers after a holiday party. Before you invite all of your friends and family over, it is important to know how to safely host a holiday gathering during Covid.
How-to: Safely Host a Holiday Gathering During Covid: Be Wise and Considerate
The only guaranteed way to safely host a holiday gathering during COVID is to reconsider having a get-together this year at all. COVID is certainly not a holiday gift that anyone wants to receive. The more people you are around, the higher your risk is for getting COVID. While it is not replacing gathering in-person, many medical professionals recommend finding virtual substitutes for family holiday traditions. While masks and social distancing can help, the only way to completely reduce the risk of infections is to remain separated.
Testing and Precautions
If you do choose to host a holiday gathering during COVID, there are some added precautions you can take. For example, your guests can agree to quarantine before the event. This will reduce the risk that they will contract the virus from someone else who has it, then bring it to you. You do run the risk that your attendees may break the quarantine or not be as diligent as you would like.
Another option would be for you to have your guests take a COVID test as close to the event as possible. Then, they should quarantine up until your event. This may be easier to ask for a family gathering than it would be for friends attending a party. Neither of these options is guaranteed to prevent COVID, but they can lower the risk.
Meals and Logistics
You may need to rethink the menu options you have at your holiday gathering during COVID. Instead of a buffet-style set up, a better option would be to serve individual plates of food. This keeps the number of people coming into contact with the food to a minimum. The person plating the food should be wearing a mask. When possible, use touchless garbage cans during cleanup.
Instead of opting for an indoor gathering, hold your event outdoors. However, this is not always possible depending on where you live. If your event has to be indoors, invite fewer guests. Also, have your guests wear masks when they are not eating.
While there is no perfect way to have a holiday gathering during COVID, these tips can help keep you and your guests safer. However, it’s good to remember that the best way to reduce your risk of COVID at a holiday gathering is to make it a virtual gathering instead.