HOW TO CELEBRATE A SAFE FESTIVE SEASON

The festive season is known to be a time for most people to gather with family and friends. However, as Covid-19 continues to spread, social engagements with individuals outside your family have become increasingly dangerous. Small household parties have been found to be one of the main reasons for the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. It is, however, possible to enjoy the festive season mindfully, keeping precautions in mind thereby reducing the spread of the virus. Here are some ideas to celebrate a safe festive season:

● Get vaccinated as soon as possible if you have not already. The number of Covid cases is likely to rise during the festive season and it is essential to be protected by taking the vaccine.

● Celebrate within your own house with your family members. Try to ensure that you only celebrate with those you already reside with. You can organize fun activities and games to play with children so that everyone is entertained. This is also a wonderful opportunity to spend more quality time together while at the same time preventing your family getting infected by the virus.

● Make all your festival purchases and grocery shopping online as far as practicable. Opt for no-contact deliveries. If it is absolutely necessary to visit the store, go when it is less crowded.

● Virtually send gifts to those who do not reside with you. You can plan ahead and send gifts to your close friends and family. To make things more interesting, you can also video call each other while opening the gifts.

● Find unique methods to share the experience with others who are far away. Over video call, prepare a favourite dish with extended family. Preparing traditional festival dishes for family and neighbours is another way to spread the holiday cheer. To be extra safe, drop off the food at their doorstep instead of giving it in person.

● Give yourself a break from cooking and cleaning and order food for yourself and your family. This year has been quite stressful for everyone and taking a break is necessary. Ordering food is also a way to help struggling local businesses from the loss they have incurred due to the pandemic.

● Send greeting cards or messages to relatives and friends. It is a meaningful way to show love, appreciation, and care to those who are apart from you during the festival season. It is also fairly simple to make a card or a handwritten letter.

● Assist old-aged people with gift shopping and grocery shopping. Older people are at a higher risk of being affected by the virus and hence, must not step out of their homes. Most of these people do not know how to operate technology and shop online. They might not have anyone to help them as well. Therefore, it is important to help them make their necessary purchases. Try asking them if they’d want your assistance in purchasing gifts online or picking up a few items in store so they can still give gifts without having to go shopping.

It is extremely risky to have an in-person event with those you do not live with, but if it is absolutely necessary to do so, take the following precautions to make it safer:

● Enquire with those you have invited or those who you intend to visit about whether they are vaccinated.

● Have a small and intimate gathering. Reduce the number of people you invite and the length of time you spend in the places you visit.

● Wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times. Sit at least 6 feet apart from each other, especially if you do not normally reside together.

● Whenever feasible, open windows and remain outside. For optimum ventilation, open the windows. Meet outside if the weather permits. Even outside, keep a safe distance from people and double mask.

● If ordering out, get separate meals for each person. Do not conduct buffet or family-style dinners and assign one person to serve. Ensure that everyone washes their hands frequently and keep a sanitizer nearby. Keep separate utensils and tables ready for everyone.

● Remind your guests to take all necessary precautions weeks before the actual festival days such as wearing masks, social distancing, etc. It is also a good idea to get tested and suggest to your guests to get tested as well for Covid.

● Decorate the house with lights and flowers or make your own decorations. It can be a fun activity for children to make decorations. It is a. delightful pastime that quickly brightens the area.

● In case you have to travel during the festive season, travel in your own private car as far as practicable. At petrol stations and rest areas, wear a mask. If you are travelling by flight, be cautious near crowds in security lines and concourses and follow all safety precautions in airports and on planes.

● If you or any of your family members have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, do not participate in any festivities at all. Avoid interaction with others even if you are showing any symptoms of the virus or if you are waiting for test results.

Although the festive season is an important time to honour traditions and spend time with your beloved ones, staying safe this year till the risk of the virus is gone is a lot more important. Therefore, keep 

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