Wishing You a Socially Distant Holiday

Dr. Linsey James, PT, CLT-UE

November 11, 2020

Holidays are a time where family and friends gather to spend time, share stories, enjoy food & drink and even gift giving to express love and appreciation. However, stress can build very easily. Most often the sources of frustration are finances and time; always seeming to need more of both. However, the year of 2020 has presented a significant amount of obstacles and barriers to maintain the health and wellness of the community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this added a layer of extra tension, with direction for limited interaction, along with a new daily accessory: the face mask.

No individual wants to promote the continued spread of the virus, but we as humans are social beings and limiting contact is a hard pill to swallow. Going into the holiday season the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does provide the community with suggestions to reduce the risk of the virus and protecting yourself.

The following suggestions should not overrule any state or local safety rules/regulations.

  • Keeping gathering small, preferably with close relatives
    • Limiting the amount of attendees; greater amount of people poses greater risks
    • Travel per public transportation can increase risk of exposure
  • Having a space large enough to promote ideal distances of 6 feet apart
    • Ideally having access to outdoor settings to promote greater ventilation
    • Increased space can promote better social distancing
  • Mask use when in close proximity and ideally maintained except when to eat or drink
  • Promotion of increased hand hygiene; washing hands a minimum of 20 sec or use of hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)

Do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household

  • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others:
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
    • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
    • **Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation
  • Has symptoms of COVID-19:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • New, unexplained muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
  • May have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19

People at increased risk for severe illness

If you are an older adult or person with certain medical conditions who is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). [online] Available at: Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings [Accessed 10 November 2020].

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