The holidays will no doubt feel different this year. Face masks and social distancing threaten traditional family gatherings and travel plans, but experts say that doesn’t mean the holidays have to be a washout.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released safety guidelines for holiday celebrations and while they don’t recommend hosting large gatherings, they do offer ways that you and your loved ones can stay as safe as possible.
“Pick another family, five or six people or maybe even friends, and spend the entire holiday season with them,” says Dr. Dara Kass, Yahoo Finance medical contributor and Columbia University Medical Center associate professor of Emergency Medicine. “Plan on spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and maybe New Years with the same people and keep it intimate, no more than 10 people at any one gathering.”
“You have to pick the family members that are most nuclear to you, that are most important to you,” says Kass. “They don’t have to be biologically related to you. They just have to be people that you’ve invested the time and effort to know and realize that if they get the virus, you will too.”
Assess the risks, if you live in a hotspot state where COVID-19 cases are on the rise, consider the risks of getting and spreading the virus before hosting or attending a gathering. It’s also important to know where your guests have traveled. Prior to your celebration, you may choose to have guests get tested for COVID-19, including yourself, to make everyone feel comfortable about attending your gathering.
When possible, celebrate outdoors, and if that’s not an option, keep your gatherings shorter, since longer events pose a greater risk.
While the CDC recommends that it is best to stay local for the holidays, if you do decide to travel be vigilant about washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing when you can.
Alexis Christoforous is co-host of “The First Trade” on Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.