Health experts and officials stress that gathering with people outside of your immediate household is risky -- even if it is a small group.
“Unfortunately, although we think these small groups of less than 10 seem to be very low risk, the risk goes up once we’re inside, especially with colder weather, and we have absolutely seen outbreaks among small groups of the family for birthday parties or other events already,” Kelly Cawcott, infectious disease expert, explains in a video on The Huffington Post.
So what can extended family and friends do to celebrate? For the time being, it should be remote, distanced, and virtual.
“Virtual gatherings are your best, most effective, safest solution,” Iahn Gonsenhauser, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says.
Other ways to stop the spread of the virus, according to experts HuffPo spoke to:
- Travel by car if you must travel and check local state guidelines and restrictions if you are leaving your home state
- If you are gathering with people outside of your household, do it outside, keep your distance and wear masks
- Consider organizing a food swap where items are left on each other's doorsteps or have your loved ones order from the same restaurant and have dinner together virtually, while not as celebratory as usual, you can still stay connected
- Postpone in-person celebrations until after the vaccine is available -- experts hope the COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available by spring of 2021.
The 2020 holidays might seem like a downer, but just think how fun summer 2021 -- (Christmas and Hanukkah in July!?) -- just might be!