๐‚๐Ž๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ-๐Ÿ๐Ÿ— ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ

This one is on all of our minds. If you’re like me, you probably haven’t seen some family members in a long time. I haven’t seen my parents who live several states away and are “seasoned with wisdom” (also known as – high risk because of age). Mom and Dad, love y’all. =) And, I really miss them. We facetime and keep up that way. But, it’s just not the same. I’m very close with my parents and we usually see each other much more than we have in 2020. I’m sure many of you feel that too.

This whole COVID-thing will end. This is not forever. I want my family to be healthy and here at the end of all of this – which brings me to the holidays.

๐“๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฒ๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐š๐ญ-๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ค ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. ๐–๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ ๐ข๐œ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฐ๐ฌ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ๐ ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฌ. Those families are just like us and I personally know one (you probably do too).

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ? I, along with other epids, have been hesitant to post about this – because there are so many things to take into account and lots of emotions when it comes to family (plus, it’s an election year – for.the.love.y’all).

So, let me help you think through some of the factors.

๐Ÿ. ๐–๐ž ๐œ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ค ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐‚๐Ž๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ-๐Ÿ๐Ÿ— ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐๐จ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ, ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ค๐ฌ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ฒ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ญ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฌ. We also know the virus is airborne -so, you can still get it if you are outdoors within 6 feet of someone. So, holidays are going to be a problem. With the colder weather, we will spend more time inside – and, without masks because we are family – this brings me to #2.

๐Ÿ. ๐–๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐ญ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ ๐ฎ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌ ๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ – ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž, ๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ, ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ “๐Ÿ๐ž๐ž๐ฅ” ๐ฌ๐š๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ. If you’re like my family we hug a lot and cook a lot and all sit on one couch and hug some more… If someone is infected and is asymptomatic or presymptomatic, all of our normal family-loving-ness is a problem. Indoors or outdoors.

๐Ÿ‘. ๐’๐จ, ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐๐จ? It depends on a few things: The CDC has 7 things to think through before you decide on your holiday plans. I would strongly encourage you to go look at those (I’ll link to it below).

Let me pull out a few key things:

-๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž? Y’all, this one will be hard this year because people are so divided over this. Have the extended family members abided by the same prevention measures as you have (masking, distancing, etc)? If not, give some pause on whether or not you want to meet in person. These will be hard decisions and probably some really hard conversations. But, necessary ones given what we know about the virus.

-๐–๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก-๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ค ๐ฉ๐ž๐จ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž? Y’all this will be another hard one this year. Usually the holidays are some of the only times where we see our older family members (grandparents). This year though, we need to be really careful on whether or not we meet. I know I’m hedging on this one a bit and you probably want firmer answers. But, this will be such a tough decision for lots of us. Every family is different with lots of factors to think through as you assess your own risk comfort-level.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ?

This might be the year to have Thanksgiving with only your immediate family and have a Christmas-in-the-spring after everyone gets a vaccine (or whenever that vaccine comes).

Maybe you want to do holidays-in-July at a place with palm trees (Dad, I’m looking at you!).

Maybe you choose to only meet with family members that adhere to the same precautions like you do. That’s what we are doing. My in-laws that live close to us are doing the same thing we are regarding masking, staying home, etc. But, we will have to wait to see other extended family members until next year (Christmas in July!?).

Maybe you do a zoom holiday party. Maybe you do a backyard holiday get-together and limit who comes. This is not social distancing – just physical distancing. Zoom calls with family are epic!

๐“๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ข๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ค๐ž๐ž๐ฉ ๐ข๐ง ๐ฆ๐ข๐ง๐ – ๐ก๐จ๐ฅ๐ข๐๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก-๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ค ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฒ-๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ -๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ. ๐’๐จ, ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ˆ’๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฌ๐š๐ข๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ค – ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ. ๐–๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž.

Around family, this will be more important than ever.

This will end, friends. We know it will with vaccines on the horizon and treatments being developed and tested. I want my family be to safe and healthy when it does.

Here’s the CDC website to help you think through your decisions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist

Here’s a reminder of when you are contagious: https://tinyurl.com/y4rfjmc5

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