“Virtual holidays are safest, and there are a lot of fun things you can do,” Dr. Payne said. You and your family might not be enthusiastic about sitting in front of your computer and chatting. How about doing something else together virtually?
Dr. Payne doesn’t recommend seeing family or friends in-person this year. “It is best not to have in-person gatherings at all, especially those including family from different households,” she said.
If you do get together, follow these tips to help reduce risk:
You’re probably feeling pandemic fatigue after scaling back your activities since March. But as we head into the winter it’s more important than ever to be vigilant:
“Wearing your mask correctly will help keep you safe,” Dr. Payne said. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth completely and fit snugly to your face. When you take it off to eat or drink, remove it completely and lay it face down on a paper towel or place it in a paper bag. Label the front and back of the bag so you know which way to put your mask on.
“Feelings of isolation and loneliness are common during the holidays,” Dr. Payne said. Those feelings might be amplified this year because of the pandemic. If you’re feeling down, try practicing self-care.
You may also feel frustrated and disappointed that you can’t celebrate with your loved ones in traditional ways. “Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself grace with what you might be feeling during this time,” Dr. Payne said.