The holidays are right around the corner and as tough as it may be health experts are still encouraging people to avoid large gatherings to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
For those not planning to follow that guidance and visit people outside their household, News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay shares some practical ways to help keep everyone safer.
You don’t want your Thanksgiving feast turning into a coronavirus spreader.
“We’ll wear these (masks) and no hugs which is the hardest thing,” Nancy Monahan told News Channel 3 when we asked people if their plans are changing because of the pandemic.
“Have a virtual Thanksgiving with my family,” Jeffrey Thomas shared.
“Just going to stay at home just by ourselves. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for,” Jean Clasen added.
Like these people, many are adjusting their Thanksgiving plans. For those who choose to gather here are some ways to make it safer.
Have hand sanitizer and extra masks right at the door.
Gravy is to mash potatoes as wearing a mask is to your holiday gathering. Experts say masks are a must.
Dr. Euthym Kontaxis is the director of emergency at Eisenhower Health. He said if you decide to move forward with gatherings skip buffets.
Designate one person to prepare the plates. If you’re that person or someone preparing food wear a mask.
When it’s time to eat don’t sit everyone at one table. If you can, bring the feast outside or open windows.
“If you introduce the outside air, it’s a larger volume of air going through so the virus becomes more defused and less likely to infect somebody,” Dr. Kontaxis said.
He also suggests using disposable plates and utensils.
Be sure you sit next to the people you came with and as for hugs, Dr. Kontaxis said it depends on the risk level.
“If you’re in the same bubble all the time hug away but if someone is coming in from out of town a nice virtual hug is always a good idea,” he said.
Weigh the risks you present. Are you an essential worker and or someone frequently around other people? Are you good about wearing your mask in public? You wouldn’t want to put your loved ones at risk.
“If you really have the attitude, ‘not only am I concerned about myself but others,’ I think your decision about mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing becomes really clear but I think gathering at any time of year with your family is important you just have to be more cautious then you normally would,” Dr. Kontaxis added.
We hope everyone is able to enjoy their holiday while keeping safe.