The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are just around the corner. While normally a time to gather with family and reconnect with friends, it’s looking very different this year for most people. Wherever you live, your holiday plans are probably affected by Covid-19.
Your usual traditions or annual hosting plans might have changed. Your office isn’t having the party you look forward to every year. You’re missing the Christmas light shows and school performances. Sometimes, you’re unsure of what is safe and what isn’t, so you don’t do anything all, which feels very isolating.
Here in California, as we remain under a regional stay at home order, it can be easy to get depressed and anxious about the holidays – or on the flipside, even be tempted to throw the guidelines out the window. But we want to encourage you to follow the guidelines from the California Department of Public Health regarding the holidays and Covid-19 to keep our community safe for the holidays.
The spread of Covid-19, colder weather, and holidays celebrations are driving people indoors. But under a regional stay at home order, it’s crucial that you follow the guidelines below to celebrate safely.
Cancel any non-essential travel plans
Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting Covid-19. The CDC continues to recommend postponing travel and staying home, as this is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.
Don’t gather with other households
It is safest to celebrate the holidays with the people who already live with you. The CDC defines “your household” as anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households.
Consider alternative celebrations
If you had to have the difficult “Covid chat” with family, letting them know you have chosen not to celebrate with people outside of your household this year, then consider these alternative ways to connect:
- Set a time to all meet up on Zoom for a holiday sing-along
- Make a meal or bake some goodies to drop off at their home
- Do a socially distant gift exchange
- Simply make a phone call wishing them Merry Christmas
Even though it’s difficult to not be together, remember that you are doing your part to decrease the risk for the people you care about.
Continue to slow the spread
It's also important to slow the spread of Covid-19 by continuing the following safety protocols:
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly around the sides of your face
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Social distance at least 6 feet from others who don’t live with you
- Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces
Remember, the safest way to celebrate is at home with current members of your household. Keep yourself and others safe by taking precautions to have a healthier holiday season.
Orchard Hospital is closely monitoring the status of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and following guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Butte County Public Health.
For more information, please visit CDC's website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and for updates on Covid-19 in Butte County and resources regarding the disease visit www.buttecounty.net/ph.