Considerations for a Safe Holiday Season

Karen Costello Holy Rosary Healthcare President
Thursday, November 19, 2020
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I always look forward to spending time with family and friends during the holidays, as I’m sure most of you do as well. This year, however, it is not the same. A sense of uncertainty quickly follows the anticipation of spending time with loved ones; am I putting the health of those who are most important to me at risk? It weighs heavily on my mind. There are some recommendations that have been suggested by medical experts in the infectious disease specialty, and I urge you to consider them as you make your holiday plans.

Gatherings — Think about creative ways to celebrate the holidays, such as virtual options or other options that allow you to spend time together, but apart, to protect your health and the health of others. Here are a couple ideas:

• Consider preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.

• Opt for a virtual dinner and share recipes with friends and family.

Travel — If you do decide to travel, the safest way to go is by car because you can minimize your exposure. Try to pack food and make limited stops if you can. Check the virus transmission rates at your destination, as well as at home. If they are high, you may want to consider alternate plans.

Behaviors — By now, we all know how to minimize our risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. Please adhere to them. Wear a mask, wash hands, stay 6 feet apart, and gather outdoors when possible.

If you are planning to attend in-person holiday gatherings with people outside of your household, consider strictly avoiding contact with people outside of your household for 14 days before the gathering – and ask those you’ll be spending time with to do the same.

I know this sounds like a lot – and it is a lot. But we need your help in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Wishing you all a very safe and happy holiday season.

(Karen Costello is the president of Holy Rosary Healthcare.)