2021 will mark the second year that we are needing to adapt our winter holiday traditions to accommodate the unwelcome guest of Miss Rona. Last year, many of us skipped gathering altogether, but with vaccines, rapid tests, and better treatments coming on the market, there are ways for groups to minimize risk while gathering this year.
However, staying safer while celebrating requires pre-planning and direct conversations–something that many people struggle with, especially with family members. Here are some suggestions to help you think through what kind of gatherings you are comfortable with and ways you can help protect yourself and your family–the case rate in Minnesota is currently very high and everyone needs to stay cautious to help keep our community safe.
Holiday Planning Suggestions and Resources
- Get vaccinated/get a booster! Eligibility guidelines for boosters can be found here and you can find locations for free vaccinations here or by checking with your local clinic or pharmacy.
- Listen to the great holiday Q&A episode of Andy Slavitt’s podcast In the Bubble.
- Consider smaller in-person gatherings this year.
- Encourage your family and friends to get vaccinated. The Washington Post has a good article with tips on how to talk to people you care about and encourage them to get the shot.
- Mask up when doing your holiday shopping indoors. A good mask can make all the difference and good-quality PPE is now widely available. Project N95 is a nonprofit dedicated to helping connect people with reputable online retailers of medical-grade masks that can help protect against viral transmission better than cloth masks.
- Test before getting together. Minnesota offers free mail-in PCR tests, or you can get rapid over-the-counter tests from many local pharmacies or order them online via Project N95.
Stay safe, be well, and PFund wishes everyone the happiest of holidays and may we all be on to better things in 2022.