Safety Tips for New Years 2021
New Years 2021 is approaching, and many people are planning to attend in-person gatherings to celebrate the end of a stressful and challenging 2020. Though we cannot stop others from choosing to attend events physically, we do want to encourage our senior neighbors, friends, and loved ones, as well as members of other high-risk communities, to avoid doing so to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
To help you celebrate the New Year while keeping health and safety in mind, here are some tips to still enjoy your holiday:
New Years Safety Tip 1: Plan a Virtual Holiday
Planning a virtual holiday celebration with friends and family provides an opportunity to still get together while remaining as safe as possible from both the spread of COVID-19 and the increased amount of drunk drivers on the road during New Year’s. According to the American Safety Council, New Year’s is one of the most dangerous holidays for alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
Instead of traveling this New Year’s, make plans with the people you love to join a video call at a scheduled time to ring in the festivities virtually. You can still enjoy the food, beverages, and fellowship you look forward to each year while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone.
Safety Tip 2: Don’t Go Out to Celebrate
The restaurant and bar industry booms during New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. However, these establishments are currently heavily restricted throughout the United States due to the pandemic. This should not come as a surprise since they are often associated with large crowds, close contact with others, and lively celebrations during the holiday.
For many, New Year’s is synonymous with visiting your favorite establishment. This year, especially for at-risk individuals, we recommend that you stay home instead. Though most states have reduced restaurants’ indoor capacities, these environments will still attract a high volume of patrons looking to gather and celebrate.
Safety Tip 3: Instead, Bring Your Favorite Foods to Your Front Door
Fortunately, just because you are safer staying home for New Year’s, that does not mean you cannot still enjoy your favoritefavorites foods and drinks. Instead of dining out or visiting a bar for New Year’s this year, enjoy your favorite meal from your establishment of choice by placing a pickup order or using a delivery app like UberEats or DoorDash. If you would like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your meal, the State of Ohio does currently permit restaurants and bars to deliver drinks with food orders.
Safety Tip 4: What to Do if Visiting People in-Person
While we advise that you try to celebrate with others virtually this season to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19, we are also aware that many people will still visit with others physically as well. Though this is not recommended, we do advise that you adhere to the following guidelines if you are going to attend an in-person gathering:
Socially Distance from Others
If you are visiting people for New Year’s let them know ahead of time that you prefer to maintain a safe social distance during your time there. This means remaining at least six feet away from others at all times, not engaging in physical contact, and sitting in the best-ventilated space possible. Ask the host of the event to request that other guests also honor your wishes to keep a distance from others during your visit.
Wear a Mask at All Times
Wear a mask or face covering at all times when visiting others. This will help prevent you from breathing in any virus-infected respiratory droplets or from spreading your own to others. If possible, wear a KN-95 mask or one with a sophisticated filter. Basic cloth masks and neck gaiters are not recommended for seniors or any members of other communities considered high-risk.
Sit in the Best-Ventilated Room
Close contact with others in tight quarters increases your risk of contracting COVID-19. These spaces are often poorly ventilated and do not allow for proper social distancing. Ask the event host if you can sit near an open window or in a well-ventilated area to reduce your chance of breathing in contaminated air.
Wash Your Hands as Often as Possible
Bring hand sanitizer with you and wash your hands at any possible opportunity. Avoid touching your eyes, lips, nose, or face with unwashed fingers to also further reduce your risk of contracting the virus.
No Shame in Keeping it Clean
If you are worried about contact with potentially contaminated objects or surfaces, bring disinfecting wipes with you to the event to wipe down chairs, tables, doorknobs, and any other area you are worried about coming into contact with. There is absolutely no shame in keeping your immediate surroundings as clean as possible.
Gather Information Ahead of Time
With COVID-19 remaining a real, relevant, and dangerous public health crisis, you should ask any hosts or guests whatever questions you deem necessary before attending a gathering. Some common ones you might want to consider include:
- Will the event be inside, outside, or both?
- How many people are attending? ‘
- Will everyone be wearing a mask or be willing to wear one?
- Will I be able to sit in a well-ventilated room?
- Have any attendants been recently exposed to the virus or work in a high-risk profession?
- How long will the event last?
- Will food and beverages be shared or individually served?
- Will there be enough space to socially distance indoors?
- Will lots of alcohol be served?
Knowing the answers to questions like these can help you assess the safety level for a gathering. It can also assist you in deciding whether or not you will still attend the event.
Above All: If it Doesn’t Feel Safe, Don’t Go
Right now, you should prioritize protecting your health, wellbeing, and personal safety, especially if you are a member of a higher-risk population. After assessing the safety of an in-person gathering, if it just doesn’t feel safe enough, do not go. As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry at this point in time.
We Hope You Have a Happy and Healthy New Year 2021!
2020 has posed many challenges for countless people around the world. We want to thank our staff, clients, and colleagues for helping us continue to provide excellent home healthcare for communities in Ohio and Michigan. We are looking forward to continuing this mission in the new year!
We wish you a happy new year and hope your celebrations are as safe as possible. If you have any questions about ways to further protect yourself during this holiday season, please contact us any time.