Thinking of traveling for the holidays? Please reconsider!

We all want some more “normal” in our 2020 lives. We all want to return to school, to sports, to music, to drama, and most importantly, to seeing family. It has been a long hard 9 months, and the winter is looming. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the other December holidays are times to gather, to rejoice, to share food and drinks. Thinking about these times without gathering is a bit daunting. 

However, now that the summer is over, COVID is on the rise! We’ve gotten a little more lax with our facemasks, our handwashing, and our social distancing JUST as we need to be more vigilant. Numbers are spiking in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, throughout New England… throughout the USA. And this time we are seeing more cases in children and young adults. We are very concerned about the rise in COVID numbers and risks to children and their families. If we proceed with holidays as usual, there will be a spike in COVID cases, schools will close, and it will take significantly longer to recover.

We at CMO join the CDC, the state of Massachusetts and the state of New Hampshire in asking you to consider staying home for the holidays. Avoid the large family gatherings and find new ways of sharing the joys of the season. Postponing gatherings NOW will get us back to our regular lives sooner! 

If you do plan to see family over the holidays, here are some very important safety tips

  1. Complete a 14 day quarantine prior to the holiday for anyone attending. Consider a 14 day quarantine afterwards as well. This means no in-person school, sports, clubs, playdates, work, shopping, etc…
  2. Consider getting a COVID test before seeing family. You can get one done at Stop the Spread (MA) without being symptomatic. This is NOT instead of quarantine
  3. Host an outdoor gathering and have family units sit together at different tables. You can still see extended family but more safely.
  4. Always wear masks! Masks should fit over the nose and the mouth, should not slide up or slip down, and should not have to be frequently adjusted (gaiters are NOT recommended). Even when you are outdoors at a gathering, if you are not eating, wear the mask. 
  5. Stay at least 6 feet apart from someone who does not live in your home (i.e. Grandma and Grandpa, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, etc…)
  6. Wash your hands frequently throughout the event.
  7. If you must gather indoors, keep doors and windows open, keep masks on, and do not eat at the same table. 
  8. Try to avoid group travel. Plan a road trip, and stay in a hotel to avoid prolonged exposure within others’ households.

 

Here are some other resources to guide you to a safe and happy holiday season:

CDC Celebrating Thanksgiving

Massachusetts COVID Thanksgiving Guidelines

American Acad of Pediatrics – Healthy Thanksgiving

NPR – Thanksgiving with COVID

 

Please join us in celebrating safely and reducing risk this holiday season.

 

Your providers and staff at CMO