Are Holidays Cancelled?

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"christmas tree 2004" by scottfeldstein is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Anabel Bradley, Writer

In a normal year, the holidays are a time filled with family, friends and cheer. The house is filled with shouts from cousins playing Mario Kart, the clanging of plates as dishes are being washed and holiday music playing. This year the sounds are not the same as COVID-19 has set its own place at the table. We only have five spots set instead of 20.

These modifications are driven by CDC recommendations and a fear of COVID-19. After other holidays such as the 4th of July or Memorial Day, there was a significant spike in COVID-19 cases. With positivity rates already high, health officials worry what it will look like after the holidays.

With this in mind, there are several modifications that can be made to increase the safety of celebrations. 

The safest celebration to partake in would be a virtual meeting. Send out a Zoom code and celebrate through the screen. Rather than driving or flying to see friends and relatives, visit them through the computer or a phone. Places such as airports, public transportation and rest stops pose a risk for COVID-19 exposure.

An outdoor gathering allows for airflow and decreases the risk of spreading COVID-19 when everyone remains six feet apart and wears a mask. This is the next safest way to celebrate. If you must be inside, open windows to increase the ventilation and your safety. 

Another key aspect of several holidays is gift exchanges. Instead of going into stores to shop for gifts, experts advise that items are purchased online for delivery or curbside pickup. To enter a store is to increase the chances you will be exposed to COVID-19.

Linn County Public Health recommends that we maintain a physical distance, wear a face covering, avoid large gatherings, and stay home to help slow the community spread.