Tips for Safe, Healthy & Happy Holidays

The holidays are a special time of year filled with fun traditions, cozy sweaters, yummy food, and spending precious time with loved ones. This time of year also brings more illnesses and germs, and as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise, planning a safe holiday season has become increasingly more difficult. 

Many people plan to celebrate the holidays by spending time with family members and loved ones. But it’s more important than ever that we continue to practice good health habits.

“As human beings, we are social by nature, and many are feeling the fatigue of the pandemic,” says Infectious Disease & Travel Medicine physician Dr. Ricardo Postigo. “But bringing multiple households under one roof can increase your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.” 

At Harbin Clinic, we encourage families to modify holiday celebrations to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep your friends, families and communities healthy. 

The safest way to celebrate the holidays this year is to be with people in your household. If you plan to spend time with those outside of your household, wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance, and consider implementing these additional precautions: 

  • Host an outdoor gathering.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently.
  • Ask guests to bring their own food and drink.
  • If traveling, get your flu shot before you travel, wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands frequently. It’s also a good idea to check travel restrictions before you go. 

Individuals who have underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, COPD, and hypertension, women who are pregnant, and those over the age of 65 years old are considered high risk for contracting COVID-19. We strongly recommend that these individuals refrain from large holiday gatherings and seeing those outside their household. To stay connected with family and friends, consider alternative activities like hosting a virtual meal and sharing recipes. 

As a good reminder, to combat the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious respiratory illnesses, individuals should: 

  • Wear a mask.
  • Social distance, at least 6 feet apart from others.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Avoid large crowds and indoor spaces.
  • Take a COVID-19 test if you exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19, and self-isolate at home until you receive a negative result.

From all of us at Harbin Clinic, we wish you and yours a very happy, safe and healthy holiday!