Sharing the Holidays with COVID-19

The holidays are fast approaching. Many households have annual traditions that they share with family and friends, and mine is no exception. I learned from my Grandmother how to make holidays special and the importance of bringing everyone together for delicious food and creating new memories.

This year in 2020, the holidays will be vastly different due to COVID-19 because the virus doesn’t really care if it is a special time. While it shouldn’t be necessary to avoid all family gatherings, some drastic changes have to be put into place in order to remain safe. We are all suffering from isolation that has led to loneliness and disconnection, and we wish to “get back to normal”. We want to hug all those we love, bring in visiting cousins, squeeze in as many as possible around the dinner table, sit close to watch the game to cheer on our favorite team, and continue with all past traditions. Unfortunately, it has to be different this year. However, it can still be special while we are being safe and responsible, all while we all are experiencing pandemic fatigue. Hopefully you will find this list helpful:

  • Keep your guest lists small.

  • Drive instead of traveling by plane.

  • Encourage those traveling to isolate two weeks prior if at all possible.

  • Sanitize before, during and after.

  • If possible, sit outside, which is easier here in Florida weather.

  • If inside, open windows to increase circulation.

  • Skip hugging or kissing and shaking hands.

  • Wear masks except when eating.

  • Wash hands frequently and use paper towels to dry.

  • Use hand sanitizer often.

  • Consider using disposable plates, napkins and flatware.

  • Seat households together and separate spaces between families.

  • Appoint a few persons to place food on plates to avoid self-service.

  • Assign a few persons to clean up all food and plates.

Most have become familiar with utilizing Zoom video conference. If you do not have the use of a commercial account, you can host a 45 minute gathering for free. Consider connecting with others to first greet one another that are in different households, even saying Grace if that is a usual tradition. You can reconvene during dessert and again to say goodbye.

The holidays do not need to be completely cancelled or avoided, as we still need and love one another. We just need to do it differently this year, safely! We can do this!

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