Attending gatherings to celebrate events and holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The safest way to celebrate this year is virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least six feet apart from others.
But for a nation that celebrates the littlest milestones with family and friends, Filipinos find a reason to get together at a drop of a hat.
With this, Dr. Dean Zenarosa, resident physician of the Philippine Information Agency, reminded everyone to celebrate with caution if hosting or attending a gathering to make your events safer.
“While culturally, parties and get togetherness are innate to us, we must do it with utmost caution,” Dr. Zenarosa said.
Now that there’s easing of some rules on mass gatherings, here are some things that Dr. Zenarosa reminds us to do before we proceed with our get together.
- If you’re hosting, hold it outdoors, i.e. garden, veranda or lanai. An open area is preferable. If you don’t have an outdoor space, make sure that the area is well-ventilated.
- Limit the number of attendees. It is ideal to assess the number of guests relative to the size of your space. Invite people whom you know follows health safety protocols.
- Serve pre-packed servings and use disposable utensils. t’s tacky, but safer for everyone.
- Have a designated hand washing area, alcohol or hand sanitizer available. Give your guests mask holders to put their masks in while eating. It can be a small plastic or a paper bag.
The World Health Organization also reminds us of three factors to consider that can help us make safer choices when we’re in an area of widespread COVID-19 transmission:
(1) Location – Open air spaces safer than enclosed spaces
(2) Proximity with others – Farther away from others safer than close together
(3) Time you spend there – Shorter time periods with others are safer
It’s always safer to know your risk to lower your risk.
“Being around family and friends remind us that it’s ok to have some anxieties; that it’s not weird to be protective; that little inconveniences are acceptable – because they have those feelings, too. And it is in knowing and respecting these mutual concerns that we are assured that we are going to be ok,” Zenarosa added.
Celebrations may involve extra planning during the pandemic.
But taking safety precautions can allow you and your family and friends to celebrate and minimize the risk of becoming infected with or spreading the COVID-19 virus. (JCR/AMB/PIA Ilocos Sur)