THE RELIGIOUS FORUM AGAINST COVID-19

United against the spread of COVID-19

Do Christmas Differently – Have a Covid Safe Christmas

The Covid Pandemic has changed a lot about the way in which we live our lives, spend our time, interact with friends and family, as well as how we celebrate Christmas.

This festive season is also overshadowed by a 4th wave and new Covid variants being discovered, but all is not lost.

While Christmas is not cancelled, it does mean that we need to do things a little differently.

Here are our Top Tips for having a Covid-safe Christmas

Avoid crowds whenever possible

Avoiding crowds can be difficult when you need to go to the mall to do Christmas shopping, so why not shop online to avoid crowded shopping centres.

Celebrate Christmas outside this year

Luckily in South Africa, we have summer during the festive season which means that we should have a beautiful day to be outside on Christmas. Have a Christmas picnic lunch outside this year and try something a little different.

Have a more intimate Christmas

Instead of a large gathering with family and friends, rather consider getting a smaller group of friends and family together over Christmas and make it a more intimate day. According to the CDC, the more people that are inside your home, and the longer they stay, the more virus particles can accumulate. 

Don’t assume vaccination status – ask

While the vaccine does not stop you from getting Covid or from spreading it, it is effective in reducing hospitalisation and death. Ask family and friends if they have been vaccinated before visiting, to reduce the spread of infection and potentially save their life.

Have a virtual Christmas celebration There are many online options that we can use to socialise. Netflix has released a watch party feature so the whole family can join in from different locations and watch a Christmas movie together, or use Zoom to meet up and play a game together like charades, or get the children together on Zoom to create Christmas crafts or decorate cookies. 

During your Christmas festivities

  • Skip welcome hugs this year and go for an elbow bump instead.
    • We know that we all need a hug sometimes, so if you do need a hug, wear your masks to limit exposure.
  • Continue to practice social distancing and ensure that there is sufficient space to spread out.
  • If you are celebrating indoors, then ensure that windows are open and that there is enough ventilation in the house. The CDC reports that improving ventilation (air flow) can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home. Good ventilation, along with other preventive actions, like staying 1.5 to 2 metres apart and wearing masks, can help prevent you from getting and spreading COVID-19.
  • During Christmas festivities be prepared and have hand sanitiser and paper towels readily available and provide some festive face masks.
  • Avoid a Christmas punch and try single-serving options like cans or bottles.
  • Encourage your guests to wash their hands before and after eating.
  • Instead of a finger food style appetizer or cheese boards, rather make small individual snack boards. 
  • Instead of a family style buffet, rather designate one person to handle and serve food, and make use of disposable tableware.

Extra safety precautions

Particularly if you have high-risk family members, or if you are unvaccinated, households are encouraged to quarantine for 5 days before and after your Christmas celebration.

If you are sick or have symptoms then do not host or attend a Christmas function.

At the end of the day, when we are all jolly and full, the reality is that our safety, and that of our loved ones, is in our hands. Together we can prevent the spread of Covid by getting vaccinated and continuing to be stringent about non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing our hands or sanitising regularly.

Have a Covid safe Christmas!

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