Plan a safe Christmas get-together amid Covid concerns with these tips

We have to once again tread cautiously amid concerns of another Covid wave. As the Omicron variant makes waves, experts suggest that you take both the doses of Covid vaccine as soon as it’s possible, and stay alert by masking up and maintaining social-distancing while stepping out.

As we gear up for Christmas celebrations, there may be some house parties planned between friends and family members. Dr Paritosh Baghel, senior consultant, Internal Medicine at SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim, suggests some ways to keep the holiday spirit high and also stay cautious. Here is what you can do.

* Avoid overcrowding: Avoid crowding in hotels, restaurants, cinemas, malls. Follow Covid-appropriate behaviour when venturing out with family and friends. If you are the host for a small family get-together, ensure that you invite a limited number of people. It would also be prudent that you ensure all guests are double vaccinated. Senior citizens and children should ideally stay homebound.

* International attendees: Do not host parties for people who have just arrived into the country; they must finish their authority-specified quarantine first and get tested. Only after specified protocols are followed, can you include these members into your gatherings.

* Keep your mask on: Social gatherings at closed places can be risky. Masks can help reduce the risk. Ensure you gather at places that are not small and have enough airflow. Keeping the right distance is the only mantra. With increasing cases of Omicron variant, it is best that all attendees and the host wear double masks.

* Keep the sanitiser handy: Stock up on hand sanitiser along with soap, water, paper towels, tissues, disinfecting wipes and no-touch/foot-pedal trash cans (preferably covered). If you are organising a small gathering at home, keep multiple sanitiser bottles that guests can reach out to.

* Less social contact: Gathering around buffets or cocktails can increase the likelihood of the virus being passed on to others. Use disposable plates and glasses. Have an individual set of things for each guest so the chance of personal contact and cutlery/glassware sharing is reduced.

* Maintain hygiene: Apart from personal hygiene, it is important to sanitise surfaces that can harbor the infectious virus. Sanitise premises and maintain hygiene in the party area. Use the disinfectant spray to clean and disinfect shared objects. Restroom hygiene needs to be considered strictly.

* Keep a check on your diet: Have healthy food during house parties, one that will boost immunity. Select food items which can be of single-serving and tasty as well as healthy. Immunity-boosting drinks are great alternatives.

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