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ISAPN On Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Safely

Posted about 1 month ago


With Thanksgiving recently celebrated and the assortment of December holidays coming up fast, many people are considering traveling. While everyone likes being with their families during the holidays, the COVID-19 pandemic is adding difficulty this year. For those who are unsure how they should approach seeing family and traveling, the Center for Disease Control has a number of recommendations. Overall, the organization states that “Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread.” Read on for some advice from ISAPN for ways to celebrate the holidays safely! 

Virtual Holiday Fun

While COVID-19 has put limits on celebrating in groups, that doesn’t mean that individuals should avoid all celebration. Member Patricia Hess suggested a number of fun holiday activities. 

“There is plenty to do, even without gathering! Get the kids involved with dinner preparation and decoration.  Have the kids record their version of the holiday and use social media to share with family.  Send a snail mail card you made.  Create your own traditions. Keep it simple!”

Member Dr. Theresa Towle added that those looking for fun should “Schedule a virtual holiday dinner or a virtual opening of Christmas presents. My family has done these things and they have been very fun. You can also read your favorite Christmas stories to children in your life, either virtually or over the phone.”

Lastly, April Odom, Vice-President of ISAPN suggests that you “Find a special game or create one. If one family member normally does all the cooking have them share the recipe and each household follow the recipe or make their own version. Write each other letters to be opened on a designated day/time. Do a virtual grab bag and ship the gifts to the person.”

Suggestions for Traveling

While both the CDC and ISAPN suggest that travel should be eliminated or kept to a minimum during the holiday season and that gathering in large groups should be avoided, we realize that sometimes travel is necessary and that some individuals will still choose to gather. Member Melissa Bogle suggests following these precautions: 

“Using hand sanitizer, face masks, and hand-washing are always good choices. You should also try to take along your own food and speak with your children about keeping themselves and their loved ones safe in advance. This includes instructing them not to share drinks and covering their cough.”

April Odom, Vice-President of ISAPN added that “If you are feeling sick, you should isolate. And please do your best to restrict large interactions as much as possible. Just ask yourself ‘if I were not having symptoms but was infected, how would I feel knowing that I have infected my loved ones?’”

ISAPN Suggestions for Coping with a Difficult TIme

At the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, we understand that it is a difficult time. While the holidays are normally spent with family and used to relieve stress, we once again ask that you practice precautions and celebrate responsibly. 

Lastly, member Betsy Gamlin has one last piece of advice: 

“This  virus is real. It knows no age, sex, ethnicity, occupation, and it has no boundaries.  You can make an impact in harnessing this virus by staying home, taking care of yourself, wearing a mask, and social distancing. And remember, when it seems most difficult, a small sacrifice now can save a family member, friend or stranger.”