Advice for a COVID-19-Free Thanksgiving - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Advice for a COVID-19-Free Thanksgiving

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Americans are gearing up to spend the holidays with family and friends. The only problem? COVID-19 is re-defining how we plan for the holidays. With spikes hitting several states and governors considering more lockdown restrictions, Americans are faced with a series of choices regarding holidays during a pandemic. In fact, a new study by home tech protection and support service Asurion Home+ examined America’s holiday plans this year and found that nearly three-quarters (72%) intend to celebrate the holidays virtually, with 93% of those who plan to e-gather citing the recent rise in COVID-19 as a factor.

And whether you’re celebrating the holidays in person or online, it’s important to check-in with your family, take necessary precautions, and do the best you can for you and your family’s safety.

Thanksgiving 2020 is just around the corner, but before we travel over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, it’s essential to recognize our situation’s reality. In late October, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. set its latest coronavirus infection record. Experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, are warning that this is a sign to expect further spread in the coming months due to holiday gatherings and celebrations.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Thus far, we’ve learned that coronavirus safety very much depends on the number of infection spikes in your area. There are some areas of the country where the levels of infection are deficient. This means that people still need to take precautions but do not need to hide inside their homes during the holidays. In areas experiencing spikes of new coronavirus cases, more vigorous measures and safeguards need to be considered to protect yourself, your family, and the community. To assess your area or the area you are thinking of spending the holidays, you can activate a free COVID-19 tracker from the Johns Hopkins University website dashboard. Tools like this can help you assess the situation in your area before you get to planning.

Keeping Safe While Maintaining Tradition

Even if your area reports a low incidence of infection, it is wisest to avoid travel if possible -especially air travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can provide further recommendations for staying safe. Still, the agency does recommend balancing Thanksgiving and coronavirus by having your dinner with only those who live in your household or your immediate “bubble” of family and friends. This will help maintain family tradition while creating a low-risk holiday event. Even if the area is considered a low infection zone, consider holding Thanksgiving meal outside – think of it as getting back to the roots of the original Thanksgiving meal that didn’t take place indoors. In the many conversations surrounding the spread of COVID-19, outdoor gathers are reported to be significantly safer than indoors. It is good to keep in mind that even though you are in a low infection zone and enjoying the outdoors, it is best to maintain social distancing and wear a face mask when not consuming food or drinks.

One of the best face masks on the market today based on technology and cost is Boomer Naturals tri-layer, Nano-silver technology face mask. According to infectious disease expert Dr. Christina Madison, Boomer Natural’s face mask can provide significant safeguards while enjoying the holidays.

“Wear a quality face mask such as those from Boomer Naturals, wash your hands, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, limit time spent indoors around people not in your family unit, social distance, and avoid large gatherings,” said Dr. Madison.

“If they insist on coming, they MUST wear a mask. At all times, if they are not eating or drinking as well as all the other guests. Not all masks are made equal, and grandma and grandpa should have a high-quality mask that meets the WHO recommendations like Boomer Naturals. Boomer Naturals face mask is a highly effective laboratory tested with three tightly woven fabric layers with nano silver technology. The Boomer Naturals mask extremely breathable, very comfortable to wear, is washable, multi-use up to 30 days, and comes in multiple sizes and colors,” added Dr. Madison.

The other consideration to make is the tradition of Black Friday shopping. Taking this year off from crowded stores (if they are open) and scrambling to get gift deals is a good idea. This will protect you and your family and save you some money and stress of being around others. You might want to check out Cyber Monday deals or get more involved in Giving Tuesday to help non-profit organizations across the nation.

The New Normal Won’t Be Around for Long

Thanksgiving symbolizes families and friends joining together to give thanks and gratitude. The list of what people are thankful for is as diverse as our nation’s population. The one thing they all share is the idea and importance of coming together in the holiday spirit. That spirit has led to a focus on alternative suggestions for how to spend the holidays safely. If you are concerned about the virus but still want to celebrate, consider making your traditional family recipes and delivering them to your loved ones or neighbors in a way that limits contact. You also might want to consider locating your neighborhood food bank and sharing the love.

As you prepare for the holidays and make plans, keep in mind that we are hopefully nearing the end of the pandemic’s reign on our lives. With recent announcements from Pfizer and Moderna, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Stay the course, stay safe, and consider a low-key family gathering. Social distancing and wearing a mask are still the best way through this pandemic.

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