Holidays will be different this year

2020 has been a year that has been full of increased stress and uncertainty for our safety due to COVID-19. Many people have been deeply troubled by this issue and for good reason. Since the pandemic invaded the United States there have been warnings and advisement from experts, but then there has been a ridiculous amount of misinformation as well. The truth is, politicians and people in general lie, but this is not a political situation and numbers, nor science lies. We can all hear with our ears and see with our own eyes the monumental amounts of deaths each day. This profoundly serious matter should have never become this out of control but should have been addressed in a more logical, and efficient way from the start

We have already made it through one holiday, where family and friends congregate in the home. During the next two weeks, we have two more holidays to find a way to enjoy and remain as safe as possible. Next week is Christmas. This used to be a holiday we all look forward to because we can see the joy in a child’s eyes when they wait for Santa and his reindeer to come! There was always so much joy in the air getting together with family and enjoying the Christmas feast created by mothers and grandmothers.

Christmas of 2020 is OR at least should be a lot different this year. COVID-19 has already taken the lives of 319,000 people in the United States where I live, and this number increases steadily daily. This virus has no boundaries and will effortlessly take the life of anyone it encounters. Of course, there are some that are at higher risk, but unfortunately, COVID-19 has even taken the lives of young and healthy people. Sadly, even those that were always careful, wore a mask when out of their home, disinfected everything, washed their hands numerous times a day, and hardly left the house in the first place, were infected with his virus and did not survive it.

Even though everyone around the world knows about this deadly virus, Christmas and New Year’s is still going to happen. There are ways to be able to enjoy the holidays safely. The ways to enjoy the holidays during a pandemic, some will not be happy with because they want to do as they have done every year before now, which really is not an option this year. If we want to be able to enjoy the holidays next year, we need to make some adjustments to our holiday celebrations. Although I do understand how isolating and stressful the pandemic has been, I am going to list a few ways to enjoy Christmas and New Year with the possibility to enjoy them next year the way we want to and reduce the spread of the virus.

Virtual celebration OR celebrating with those in your household is the safest way to enjoy the holidays this year. When I say your household, this means anyone you share common space with. This can be roommates, family, and people unrelated to you and they live under the same roof as you do. Anyone that does share the common spaces of your four walls should be considered as a different household, even if they are family members, but this will increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.

I am not completely naïve, and I do understand that people are going to do what they want to during the holidays because there are things we are just used to doing, especially this time of year. It will not matter what I say about the risks, but I will do is remind and explain what we should be mindful of during the next few weeks.

**Consider the increase in the cases of COVID-19 in the community you live in and the increase in cases where you would be going to celebrate the holidays. The information on the numbers of cases can be found on the local health department website OR on the CDC’s COVID tracker at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

**Exposure to the virus while traveling can increase drastically. The airports, train stations, bus stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stop areas are all places you might encounter the virus. The exposure to COVID-19 may be in the air and or on surfaces.

**Indoor gatherings create more of a risk to the virus than outdoor gatherings. It is currently winter in many areas in the United States, which means colder temperatures. Bottom line is that most gatherings are going to be indoors, which can spread COVID-19 even more.

**Holiday gatherings, especially those that are indoors, might last longer periods of time and create further risks of spreading COVID-19.

**Anyone that is at the holiday celebration you attend that has NOT consistently followed social distancing (staying 6 feet apart), wearing a mask, hand washing, and other behaviors preventing the spread of the virus cause more risk to those who had been consistently practicing safety precautions.

People that should NOT attend in-person holiday gatherings are as follows:

*Recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and not met the criteria for being safe to be around others

*Currently has symptoms of COVID-19

*Waiting for COVID-19 viral test results

*May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days

**Is at risk for the severe risk of illness due to underlying medical conditions or an older adult

In the event you do go to an indoor holiday gathering, PLEASE be sure to wear a mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds several times a day, avoid getting too close to others, and just do everything you can to keep yourself as safe as possible! I do know that people want to enjoy the holidays, but we must do what is necessary so we can enjoy the holidays in the years to come!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you enjoyed this post and it will help you during the holidays. I was not able to do my “Motivational Monday” post because I was dealing with a nasty headache that started on Sunday morning and carried over today. I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on this post and promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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