Wednesday 13th January 2021
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7 Ways to Host a safe Family gathering during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Family Gathering
 

Family gatherings are always emotionally connected. And in this pandemic, we are all always looking to meet each other more often. 

Lockdowns and travel restrictions have made us all the more distant from our family so it's hard to stay away from each other for a long time.

Holidays are all about having an honest good time and chilling out with your family. You've got to travel and meet your family and sometimes, even distant relatives to keep ties. 

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic isn't going away anytime soon and little house family gatherings can possibly result in a crucial contributor to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

But you can still meet your family and keep them protected and safe from the virus. By taking all kinds of precautions you can plan a get together with all your close family members and have a break from this pandemic.

Here are 7 ways you can safely host a family gathering and meet your parents, siblings, and cousins you’ve missed dearly.

1: Have masks and hand sanitizer in place

Face mask and sanitizer
 

During this pandemic, parties and gatherings will look different. If you’re hosting a gathering, provide a mask for each of your guests. 

They should be keeping their masks on during the entire visit except while drinking or eating.

Provide hand sanitizer for all your family members for everyone's safety. And, if you are attending a gathering bring your own supplies in case the host misses these important arrangements.

Clean the table top or other surfaces with sanitizers or alcohol based cleaning liquids both before and after the gathering.

Just to be safe and maintain physical distance, mark the blocks on the ground for people to face at a distance of at least 100 cm.

Try asking people not to touch each other or go on the brink of each other while greeting.

2:  Host Your Gathering Outdoors

Outdoor Family Gathering
 

An important part of gathering in this covid period is meeting your family members in a small group and arranging the gathering outdoors because doing so will help in preventing the spread of covid due to open space.

Have a heater, wear an appropriate coat and hat throughout the meal, and even bring your lap blanket to remain warm.

If you plan on entertaining one or more friends at your home, consider getting a fireplace pit. you'll even ask people in your circle to contribute.

Before your family arrives, have excess tables and chairs ready outside. But you'll have to arrange a separate table for every family household if you propose to eat during big gatherings such as closed weddings, retirement and birthday gatherings.

During your backyard gathering, confirm you've got everything your relations may have readily available outside, including:

  1. Dinnerware
  2. Napkins and paper towels
  3. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  4. Disinfectant wipes

If kids are going to be present, keep outdoor activities so they don't sneak inside playing video games. Although, the use of pools is restricted in several cities. It can be allowed as long as social distancing remains happening. You can have a cycling outing with the children or go hiking in nearby places.

For months experts are saying that eating outside, whether dining at a restaurant or picnicking in your backyard, poses much less risk than eating indoors. That’s because the virus led particles to disperse more quickly outside.

With the weather turning cold in many parts of the country, eating outdoors is getting harder to try to but it’s not impossible.

3: Limit the Number of Guests

Choosing the close family member
 

Holiday guest lists are likely to seem a lot different this year.

The safest plan is to limit your gathering to your immediate family and celebrate together with your household. 

it's going to be a difficult decision especially since we’ve all been limiting our interactions to mostly family this year, already but limiting the dimensions of your guest list is the best thanks to limiting the potential spread of COVID-19.

If you are planning to have friends and relatives over, remember the infection rates for the communities your guests are going to be traveling from. 

You’ll also want to remember any local restrictions on the number of individuals allowed to gather indoors, as this capacity limit will guide what percentage of people you ought to consider inviting over.

The U.K. has implemented a “rule of six” prohibiting social gatherings of quite six people. The risk will increase as the number of people increases.

4: Food safety

Clean food
 

The safest option for a gathering is to avoid serving food to guests and asking them to bring their drinks and food from home. But in the case of family meeting, this option will surely be overlooked.

So, however, if you are doing a plan to provide food, don't find a buffet. Arrange one person to serve the food to everyone else. 

When preparing the food, have everyone else stand back from the grill or kitchen.

Single-serve packets are important during an epidemic. This goes for condiments also like food items, like chips. Disposable cups and plates also are great. Consider fixing a cooler filled with drinks so people can serve themselves.

Guests should have separate serving spoons and avoid sharing and spending serving dishes or utensils. Be safe for handling wine bottles and drinking glasses handled by others.

Wash hands frequently. Place disposable paper towels within the bathroom so your guests aren’t sharing the same face towel. Space your guests so that they aren’t crowded around a table.

Limit people getting into and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, like within the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.

Designate an area for guests to scrub hands after handling or eating food. Get someone wearing a mask to serve all the food to the guests.

Limit crowding in areas where food is served by having one person dispense food individually to plates, always keeping a minimum of a 6-foot distance from the person whom they're serving. Avoid crowded buffet and drink stations.

5: Safety of Older Family Members

Grandparents
 

The toughest things during this covid period are adults who have been staying far away from their parents and grandparents.

So, it has been especially important for older people to practice social distancing even from relations to scale back the danger of infection.

Elderly people shouldn't attend in-person dinner celebrations, especially if the speed of community spread is high or growing, and if the vacation is going to be celebrated indoors.

And if your relative has health conditions like diabetes, lung disease, or some severe health problems then it puts them at high risk. There will be high-risk relations included in your holiday celebrations, consider inviting them to virtually over video chat.

6: Activities

Children's Enjoying
 

There are many activities you'll enjoy on the brink of home, whether you're visiting your favorite public, state or park, or simply spending time in your neighborhood. While some of these activities might not be possible during some seasons there will be many more things to do so get cracking with these low-risk outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. running and hiking
  2. biking
  3. Fishing and hunting
  4. Golfing
  5. Rock or hiking 
  6. boating or sailing
  7. Snowboarding

Dress in layers and protect your head, hands, and feet. Then head outside for a winter hike or go skiing. And aim to stay with a positive mindset about winter. This might assist you to enjoy the season and winter activities more because wind instruments can create aerosols.

For those determined to visit see friends and/or relatives, Chin-Hong suggested getting the test done three or four days before the trip and sticking strictly to a security protocol. 

He added this warning: "A negative test is just one strategy, and safe practices for COVID prevention should still be maintained as a double strategy to stay us all safe during these trying times."

7: Tips for guests who are staying overnight 

Outdoor sleeping
 

Visitors should take clothing and masks to the laundry, and keep luggage far away from common areas upon arrival.

Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 30 seconds, especially upon arrival.

Wear masks while inside the house. Masks could also be removed for eating, drinking, and sleeping, but individuals from different households should occupy at least 6 feet faraway from one another at the least times.

Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.

Spend time together outdoors. Take a walk or sit outdoors a minimum of 6 feet apart for interpersonal interactions.

Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.

Treat pets as you'd other human relations – don't let pets interact with people outside the household.

Monitor hosts and guests for symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Conclusion:

Not everything will go as planned. A Happy time or a bad time during your first family gathering is situational based on what everyone feels meeting up after a long time–and that’s okay! 

It is often quite easy to become overwhelmed and ensure your older loved ones are going to be healthy and cozy. So, you might want to skip seeing them for longer.

But there's nothing wrong with going for a run, eating together, or simply watching a movie within the midst of planning; these relaxation techniques might even keep you sane and help your family cope with loneliness! 

During the gathering, when all of your planning involves life, remembering the important things will truly make a difference: your family wants to be together, and you're surrounded by food, stories, laughter, and love. 

So be thankful that you are connecting with your family members. Don’t fight with each other but fight this pandemic together.

 
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