While there is still a hesitation in the air, a lot of us are facing the holidays with a little more optimism than last year. And, as we shape up our plans for the traveling we will be doing, right into the beginning of 2021, we are also considering the health needs and possible contacts risks that could occur. We all want to see each other, but we want to be as safe as possible too.
Some of us are most executed about new babies meeting grandparents and other valuable, compromised family members. Some of us are looking forward to seeing our colleagues, and some beaches, at the resort conventions that have been reconvening for the first time again this year.
The CDC has released a guide with travel advisories for the 2021 holidays, and looking up local ordinances has never been easier. Let’s look at ways to ensure you are doing your best not to spread illness, or increase risk, for any esteemed colleagues or intergenerational loved ones.
- Get Vaccinated and Get Tested
In some states by now, the term fully vaccinated has a new definition – having received three shots. While this doesn’t apply to the entrance to bars and restaurants yet, it will eventually. Now is a good time to check out what the age, health, and job requirements are for eligibility for the booster shot.
If you have yet to receive a vaccine, schedule a meeting with your doctor to address your hesitations. Vaccines are free, safe, and easily available anywhere. They are also touted as the surest way to avoid unnecessary risks for your family.
However, the spread of the disease is not yet understood. This is why it is essential to get tested and allow yourself time to get accurate test results, before visiting with a new group of people.
- Know your Destination
If you are headed home for the holidays for the first time, get acquainted with your destination’s statistics for infection and hospitalization. Even if you are vaccinated, you may want to wear a mask, or two, at some of your destinations. This is especially true if the local vaccination rate is lower than 50%. So do a quick search and be prepared.
This is a good idea anyway to avoid awkward interactions while shopping, out to eat, or out at a local bar.
- Hand Washing and More
In the excitement of seeing old faces and meeting new people, don’t forget to be vigilant about the basics such as hand-washing and sanitizing when needed, social distancing and masking when appropriate, and avoiding touching of the face and eyes. If you have an elderly relative, consider going over guidelines with their physician in terms of visiting. There may be a limit of people or some spacing requirements that you should know about.
- Learning to Stay Home
It’s always disappointing but sometimes you get unlucky and feel too sick to go on a trip. You should pay attention to your body and stay home. It is the best thing for your health, but also that of your family and coworkers.
We are all taking a tentative step towards getting together again. Whether for you this is the return of the office Christmas party or sharing your grandmother’s pie, make sure you follow guidelines to keep everyone safe.