Central California Alliance for Health | Living Healthy | December 2020

HEALTHY 2 Weather permitting, dine outdoors. There is less risk of virus spread when gathering outside. So take the party into the backyard if you can. Wear masks. Ask everyone to wear a mask when gathering indoors and when outdoors if social distancing is not possible. Is there a creative crafter in the group? Maybe they could sew fun, holiday-themed masks for kids (2 years and older) and adults. Ban the buffet. Assign people to be servers. It is less risky than letting everyone serve themselves. Arrange tables and chairs to accommodate social distancing. Group people from the same household together at smaller tables set 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact. No matter how happy people are to see each other, discourage hugs and handshakes. Verbal hellos, bowing and waving are all OK. It is the holidays, and COVID-19 is still a presence in the U.S. What does that mean for holiday celebrations? Some parties may need to be called off. Buffet-style office parties, for instance, are probably not a safe idea. And what about family gatherings— especially large ones? These may look very different from years past, if they happen at all. Still, you can enjoy the holidays while doing everything you can to stay safe from the virus. Here are some suggestions: Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hold a series of small gatherings. If your big family typically gets together on one day, could smaller groups get together over the course of several days? Have a video celebration. Instead of gathering for dinner in person, gather virtually using a video chat app. Does someone in the family have a secret holiday recipe? Ask them to reveal it in advance this year so everyone can make it and enjoy it together virtually. Think of other holiday traditions to celebrate via video, too, like decorating a tree or opening presents. You can share the spirit of the holidays this way. Have a happy holiday—even with COVID-19 Tap into teens’ technology skills. Many teens are masters at using technology and can teach less-savvy adults how to connect via video apps. Ask your teens for help hosting a game or movie night. It’s a great way to share some fun when you cannot be physically together during the holidays.