Celebrations, events and activities this year have looked incredibly different from the past and the winter holidays will be no exception. Deciding how to celebrate and properly honor our holiday traditions will require some flexibility and creativity from all of us. Trying to be festive during a pandemic may feel impossible for various reasons: having limited gatherings, financial struggles, and of course the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases while anticipating the flu season. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge it is leaving many people wondering if we can truly celebrate our holidays or will have to settle for more isolation. Instead of accepting more disappointment from 2020, get creative! At Complete Health Partners we have few suggestions for celebrating safely this season.
Before making plans to meet in person, consider making the event a virtual gathering. Since the pandemic started, video streaming platforms have been helping families, schools and jobs gather safely. There also several options available now to help people keep connected during quarantine, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, and more. Zoom is a more favored steaming platform for larger groups, you can have up to 100 participants on a video call. That way you can invite all your family to the virtual gathering and not only keep the holidays festive, but safe too!
The year 2020 has been full of creativity for events worldwide, and your holidays should be no different. Think outside the box for celebrating this year. Inside of having your more traditional holiday meal inside in a poorly ventilated house, meet-up for an outdoor holiday activity. Have everyone wear their coziest and ugliest Christmas sweater, bring a thermos of hot cocoa and take a group walk in your favorite park. Instead of everyone baking together, bake your favorite seasonal dessert and deliver it to your loved ones with personal cards. Host an outdoor gift exchange with your friends instead of cramming together into someone’s house. Letting go of holiday traditions can be disheartening, but learning to be creative to protect your friends and family from the virus is worth it. Here is an article with more ways to celebrate safely this season: https://blog.bcbsnc.com/2020/11/7-creative-ways-to-celebrate-the-holidays-safely-during-covid-19/
Most importantly, if you choose to meet with individuals outside your immediate household the 3 W’s must be your main goal throughout your event or activity – wash hands, wear a mask and watch your distance. Make sure there are designated areas for guests to wash their hands if needed. If running water is not option, be sure to supply hand sanitizer. Be sure to ask attendees to wear a mask for the duration of the event. And lastly, when possible watch your distance. Always maintain 6 feet minimum from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Meet outside, if possible, to improve air circulation. If meeting indoors, open windows and turn on fans to reduce chances of viral spread in case an asymptomatic COVID positive person is present.
As we know many people will still likely be invited to larger, in–person, holiday events. Possibly an office party or maybe an annual family gathering. If that is the case, we have just few suggestions for you before accepting the invite. Consider if any of the attendees had to had to travel in order to make the event. Anyone who had who to be at an airport, bus stop, or gas station has put themselves at higher risk of contracting the virus. Check to see the location of the gathering before attending, if you and several other people will be indoors with poor ventilation, it is riskier than meeting in an outdoor setting. Take a look at the guest list as well, if it seems that there is going to more people than the CDC or city recommends for a gathering it may not be worth the risk to go. The more people in attendance, the higher your exposure rate will be. For more things to consider before attending an in-person event, follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
It may seem like we are trying to put a damper on the holiday season, but we only want to help keep our community as safe as possible in the midst of the growing pandemic! Our clinics are here to help with all of your COVID19 needs, we have two convenient locations with the ability to book appointments for testing. Our Nashville West urgent care location, located in the Nashville West shopping center next to Costco and Target, is open 7 days a week from 9am-7pm. Our Downtown Nashville urgent care location, located on the corner of 3rd and Church St, is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Our clinics are locally owned and operated by emergency room physicians, so we are prepared to help with any need you have. We are proud to serve Tennesseans from Dickson to Downtown and from Ashland City to Lebanon!