Staying safe amidst the holidays

Lilly Guenther, News Editor

With the holiday season just around the corner and quickly approaching, many are faced with the decision of how to celebrate in the current situation. Everyone looks forward to seeing their friends and families for the holidays, but the priority should always be to keep yourself and others as safe as possible. This is especially important to take into account when traveling this year. So, how can you take action to have a safe holiday season in 2020?

In regards to traveling, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is cautioning people that the safest action is to stay home and avoid nonessential travel if possible. On Thursday, November 19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to skip Thanksgiving travel this year, according to CNN. 

“Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others,” the CDC said. 

The decisions we make now will impact how the virus affects our winter and spring. What should you take into account if you are considering travel? You should plan ahead by monitoring the conditions of the areas you are traveling between, and of yourself and those you will be around. The CDC advises that those especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus should stay home. It is important to know the health and limitations of yourself as well as of those you would be in contact with if travelling. Also monitor the cases in the areas you are coming from and going to.

 “Gatherings are likely safer in areas around the world where infections remain low, although the standard precautions still apply,” CNN reported. 

Many areas within the United States have had a dramatic increase in cases recently, making travel between those areas more risky. Getting tested before travel can also be a precaution, but is not foolproof. 

If you decide to travel, what is the safest method of transportation? Although airlines are taking precautions, “Driving generally allows travelers more control of their interactions with other people than flying or other forms of communal transportation,” says CNN. Short trips by car with members of your household and few stops are safest.

Where should you stay when you arrive at your destination? According to a CDC assessment, staying in a rental house, cabin, or hotel is a lower risk than staying in someone else’s house, as it is often a more controlled environment, as long as you are also avoiding going out when possible. If you are considering staying in someone’s house, take into account the people in the home, their health, the places they have been, and if they have taken the necessary precautions.

What can you do to continue to take precautions while celebrating? In all stages of your trip, wear your mask, maintain social distancing, and follow other precautions whenever possible. Take into account the factors that determine you and others’ safety. 

If everyone takes the necessary measures, we can all have a, although not conventional, safe and memorable holiday season this year.