With the COVID-19 epidemic worsening, especially in Texas, tiny tots won’t be listing off their Christmas gift requests on Santa’s lap this year. Some malls are even offering Zoom calls with Santa instead of in-person visits. What a wild world we’re living in. Family gatherings have been shown to be a contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. This holiday season consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.
Exposure During Travel
Air is circulated and filtered on airplanes, so it’s harder for viruses and germs to spread on flights. That being said, you may be in close contact with strangers or high-touch surfaces in security lines, terminals, and on the plane. Brad says, “It’s also important to consider how you’ll be getting to and from the airport since ridesharing and public transportation can increase your chances of being infected with the virus”.
While car travel may seem less risky, making stops along the way for fuel, food or restroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently-touched surfaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends remembering the three W's when travelling this holiday season.
- Wear a Mask
- Wash Your Hands
- Watch Your Distance
Behavior of Those Attending Gatherings
Below are some general considerations for hosting a gathering that brings together people from different households. Guests should be aware of these considerations and ask their host what preventative measures will be in place during the party.
- Limit the number of people for which social distancing is possible before, during, and after the meal.
- Consider taking advantage of outdoor gatherings as weather permits.
- Consider single-use disposable utensils and dishware for serving and eating meals.
- Encourage guests to wear a mask except to eat and to drink.
- Have extra masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Wash and disinfect guest areas before and after holiday gatherings.
- Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only.
- Wear a mask while preparing or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.
- Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.
- Avoid buffets or buffet-style potlucks, salad bars, drink stations or any other self-serve option.
Online is going to be the lowest risk way to shop. Most retailers have options for online shopping and in-person, contactless curbside or drive-up pick-up. If you decide to shop in-person, wear your mask and maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others. Try to shop at off-peak times when there are fewer shoppers.
Don’t forget to use touchless payment if possible or sanitize your hands after purchasing with cash or utilizing a credit or debit card keypad. Be sure to sanitize upon entrance and exit from stores and wash your hands for 20 seconds upon your return home. Consider keeping a “sanitizing kit” in your vehicle that includes hand sanitizer, wipes, disinfectant spray and a mask. Higher-risk activities include in-person sales that encourage large crowds and lining up for limited supply deals, like traditional Black Friday sales, which make social distancing a challenge.
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At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.