COVID-19 numbers keep rising, regulations across the country vary and may also change overnight. Consequently, there is a lot of uncertainty among people—and one big question stays in many Canadians’ heads: What about Christmas? Will we be able to see family and friends during the holiday season? Or should we rather stay at home and celebrate in very limited circles. How can we best prepare for Christmas in order to stay safe? And what’s a good way to protect senior relatives?
Of course, we all are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to celebrate with our loved ones, but this year it’s wise to make provisional plans only. Plan B is to spend Christmas at home—with your regular flatmates. Here are a couple of ways and ideas how to celebrate Christmas as safely as possible and thus protect yourself and your family.
Stick to rules & regulations
The best way, of course, is to follow the guidelines. According to the government, the “effects of COVID-19 vary between and within provinces and territories.” Local public health authorities may therefore lift or change measures any time. That’s why regular checks of the regulations for the region you live in are very important. So stay informed!
If we are not allowed to meet each other in our homes, try to make it work within the rules: You could for example meet somebody outdoors. Organize a walk with a friend or family member and bring coffee to warm up. In this way you can spend time together which is the greatest gift of all.
One option to protect your wider family and especially the older members against an infection, is a voluntary quarantine of yourself and your direct family for the last 14 days before Christmas. This way you could minimize the risk of an infection enormously and celebrate Christmas with granny and grandpa (if we are allowed to mix between households). Of course, this is only an option for parents who can work from home and have children of daycare age only.
Take kids out of daycare
If you have children attending a nursery, kindergarten or other form of daycare you could take them out early to Mid-December in order to lower the risk of catching COVID-19 over the festive period. If we are able to meet the wider family for Christmas, you then will know you have taken sensible precautions. A babysitter can easily take over childcare at your home—in case you need to work—and look after the kids in a much safer environment.
Seek caregivers’ help
In order to protect your senior loved ones, also consider getting help from caregivers to support them: Housekeepers can e.g. run errands, while dog sitters take over the task of walking grandma’s furry companion the weeks before Christmas. In this way, family members with a higher health risk can stay at home safely and hopefully get ready for the common Christmas dinner.
Stay in touch “personally”
If you are not able to visit your family in person, make sure you keep in touch with them by frequently using video technology. Have regular video chats to assure that your (grand)parents are doing well. Grandma could also read a story to your kids or you all play a funny game together. Also use the extra time at home to create personal Christmas gifts for your relatives. The kids will love these baking or crafting sessions and you can share out presents with a personal touch.
Christmas will be very different this year for the most of us, but we can still make it special for our families. We just need to follow social distancing guidelines and look after each other.
Note: You will find further helpful information in our “How to Handle Covid” guide.
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