’Tis the season that we are all ready to start spending quality time with our families again. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still in the equation, we must practice caution and ensure safety measures to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
In preparation for the upcoming holiday season and its influx of travel and gatherings, the CDC has published some recommended guidelines for having safe celebrations to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID. Depending on your family and how you typically celebrate, you may need to alter your plans or even take a pass on some traditions and festivities to make this time as safe as possible for everyone involved.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 this holiday season is to get vaccinated. People who aren’t vaccinated are more likely to get sick and, therefore, spread the virus to others as well. A recent CDC study shows that unvaccinated adults are over six times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and more than 11 times as likely to die from COVID-19.
However, breakthrough infections are possible. So, you’ll need to continue to be cautious about gathering in very large groups, in indoor public settings and with unvaccinated family members and friends — especially if anyone in your family is at substantial risk. You may also consider getting a booster shot before gathering with your family if you are eligible.
Getting tested 3 days before the gathering and on the day of the event is a great way to see if you are actively infected with the virus, regardless of the vaccination status.
While a negative test is not a guarantee someone isn’t carrying the virus, it does add a layer of safety. If you have guests testing on-site, have a plan in place in case a test is positive. And remind people to stay home if they feel sick or “have any symptoms whatsoever, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated.
It’s important to limit the number of people you gather with. The general rule is to stick to people in your household or your “quaranteam” — also known as a quarantine bubble or a pandemic pod. For those who choose to invite others into their home, social distancing protocol should not be forgone, especially if the guests are traveling from a different state or city, bringing a risk of COVID along with them.
As a different option, some families have decided to plan an outdoor feast with traveling family members or the neighbors in their community. If this cannot be achieved, the CDC also advises opening windows and doors for more ventilation while inside and continuing mask-wearing and sanitizing practices
It’s OK to set boundaries. Kindly request that anyone who has been sick or exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days stay home.
If gathering with your family also means traveling, be sure you’re taking steps to stay safe while traveling during COVID-19.
If you are planning to stay in a hotel, call them beforehand and inquire about their cleaning and disinfection policies. Ask if the hotel offers mobile room keys, contactless payment options, and contactless room service. It’s best to avoid hotel spas, pools, fitness centers, business centers, and other multi-use areas altogether at this time.
While traveling through public transportation, it’s best to always wear a mask. Also keep a sanitizer handy if you are in contact with frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, pens, phones, tablets, light switches, and payment stations.
You should also delay traveling to see your family if you:
Wearing a high-quality mask is important when gatherings are indoor, and you are around people who are either unvaccinated or at risk for severe illness. When greeting family or friends, wave or offer voice greetings instead of hugging, bumping elbows, or shaking hands, and encourage others to do the same. When it comes to seating arrangements, use separate tables for separate families or groups that are already in a “bubble” together. Arrange the tables so they are at least six feet apart.
Those of us at LifeQuote hope you and your loved ones follow these COVID-19 gathering restrictions and stay safe and healthy over the holidays.
This season often causes us to reevaluate the things that are truly important in our lives, most often coming to rest on our health and our loved ones. As you reflect on your blessings and cherish the time you spend with family this holiday season, consider how you can contribute to their future wellbeing as well.
Financial struggle is a cause of concern for many right now, but it is not something you would want your family to suffer from if something were to happen to you. Life insurance allows you to be confident in the financial stability of your loved ones’ future and show your family how much you care for them among the uncertainty and chaos. It’s important to remember that any amount of life insurance is better than none at all—and that talking to an insurance advisor is always free.
At LifeQuote, we offer term and permanent life insurance policies suited to your needs, as well as no exam policies for those who do not want to take any risk of contact. We can help you explore your options and secure coverage via phone, email and/or video chat.
By purchasing life insurance, you can take time to enjoy and be thankful for your life while not having to worry about your loved ones’ situation in the case of your death. These conversations may not be easy. But the peace of mind you’ll get knowing that your loved ones are protected makes them completely worth it.