With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it is imperative to remain as safe as possible to not only protect our own health, but our loved ones’ as well.
While AU is taking steps to protect students between breaks such as staying with completely virtual learning and closing public eating spaces, it is still necessary for students to be mindful of their safety and health to ensure a safe holiday season for everyone.
The CDC stated on Nov. 19 that there were 1 million new cases in the United States within the past seven days, and the safest way to approach this holiday season is to celebrate at home with housemates.
While many students and families are still planning on traveling or celebrating with extended family, there are a number of precautions that can be taken to make the holidays a little safer.
With the technology today, the ability to “gather” with family and friends has become significantly safer and easier.
Instead of travelling or being in direct contact with extended family and friends, consider spending the holidays with them virtually. With applications such as FaceTime and Zoom, spending face-to-face time with loved ones can still allow for holiday memories to be made in a completely safe manner.
With Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, which usually means packed stores and lines wrapped around buildings for good deals.
While many stores will still be open for Black Friday, to avoid crowds and close contact, online shopping is a perfect alternative. Numerous stores and companies provide great deals online so people don’t have to leave the comfort of their own homes to shop.
If gathering in groups, even just with relatives, wearing masks and staying six feet apart is still a good idea. If preparing food, wearing a mask can increase safety significantly, as well.
COVID-19 can be transmitted both through contact and the air, so taking the usual precautions such as wearing masks, socially distancing, avoiding physical contact and washing hands for at least 20 seconds is still important, even with friends and family.
If traveling is unavoidable, taking the usual precautions is imperative for everyone’s health, as travel increases exposure risk greatly, whether it’s driving or flying.
If possible, quarantining after travel can lower the risk of spread. It is important to remember that COVID-19 affects everyone differently, and showing no symptoms does not mean a person wouldn’t test positive.
Many places offer free COVID-19 testing, which can also be a great precaution to take if planning to spend the holidays with others or traveling.
While these precautions are not the ideal way to spend the holiday season, they are necessary at this time. Different circumstances and unconventional ways of gathering and celebration do not have to affect the quality of the time we spend with friends and family.