Today we are celebrating the Holiday Season in ways we never could have anticipated last year at this time.
With travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19 and many states – including New York – limiting the size of indoor gatherings, “home for the holidays” has taken a different meaning for many families.
We at Barasch & McGarry encourage you to enjoy the season and remember the many people among us who are less fortunate – in addition to the dear friends and beloved family members we have lost.
To celebrate the holidays safely, we have created a list of safety tips that you might find useful.
- If you feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19 (particularly a fever, coughing, or loss of taste and smell), stay home! By avoiding large gatherings, you will protect your family and your neighbors from catching a potentially deadly disease.
- Get tested. There are sites across the region where medical providers are offering free or reduced cost COVID-19 tests. By knowing your own status, you can avoid infecting other people.
- Limit the size of parties and other gatherings, and maintain social distancing. This tip presents the most difficulty – who doesn’t want to hug their relatives and friends during the holidays? But it’s better to be safe this year rather than sorry next year.
- Wash your hands frequently with water and soap – any kind, even dish detergent, works fine – for at least twenty seconds, about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Have an additional supply of masks for anyone who forgets.
- Improve ventilation by keeping windows open. Even better, hold gatherings outdoors if possible.
- Limit contact with shared objects that could transmit COVID-19, for example by having each household bring their own serving utensils.
- Disinfect surfaces people are likely to touch, as well as any shared items between use.
- Check in on your high-risk family members, friends, and neighbors. Many people with high COVID-19 risks such as older adults and individuals with preexisting conditions, have endured months of isolation to protect themselves. Calling them on the phone or with FaceTime or even a group Zoom call with the whole family will let them know you love them and look forward to seeing them in person – as soon as it’s safe.
This global pandemic has created new and unexpected challenges, especially for families that want to spend time together.
By following these safety precautions, you can help protect your entire family as you enjoy the holidays.