How to have a safe and healthy holiday season
during COVID-19

By Shelia Bouie, Ed.D., MSN, RN
November 24, 2020

We all love to celebrate the holidays!  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing unique circumstances this year and staying safe and healthy this holiday season will look a little different.  It is imperative that we all remain cautious and practice good safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu and other illnesses. You can still have fun while keeping your family safe throughout the holidays.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers guidelines online for a safe holiday season. Familiarize yourself with these safety tips.  In the meantime, here are a few important practices to note:

  • Limit your holiday gatherings to your own household – We understand the temptation to mingle with friends and family. However, large family gatherings with members who are not quarantining in your household are risky. Instead, lessen the likelihood of spreading infections by opting to use social media and virtual platforms like Zoom to socialize and fellowship safely.
  • Be diligent about being safe, no matter the gathering - If you choose to celebrate with people outside your household, be sure to maintain social distancing, wear a mask and continue to wash your hands frequently.

Think of these recommendations for celebrating as a Swiss cheese layered approach. If you hold up one slice of Swiss Cheese you can easily see through it; but if you stack several slices of cheese together, it is more difficult to see through them.  The same is true of protecting yourself from COVID-19. No single recommendation will do the job, alone. Adding several layers of protection will provide a safer outcome for both you and your loved ones.

I also encourage you to pay attention to your mental health. The holidays are often refueling stations for our mental well-being. With the pandemic, this mental health reboot is more important than ever as depression, anxiety and emotions could run high.  Stay positive. Work on eliminating stress.  And, keep a regular routine. These seemingly simple tips can have a huge impact on maintaining good mental health.

For additional self-help strategies and tips, visit the Mayo Clinic website where you will find great information.

Be well, stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

Dr. Sheila Bouie
Director of Nursing

References:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), (2020). Celebrating Thanksgiving. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html
Mayo Clinic (2020). COVID-19 and Your Mental Health, retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/mental-health-covid-19/art-20482731

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