Steering clear of COVID-19 this Christmas

The MOST of us faced many challenges this year because of the pandemic. We’ve cried, we’ve lost, our worries reached a climax so of course many of us look forward to the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is always deeply rooted in Guyanese traditions and celebrations, so it might be hard to give up. Many of us would like to celebrate Christmas this year, but how can we do it without putting ourselves and our families at risk for the COVID-19 virus?

There are many factors to consider before you decide to hold a Christmas meeting. Does your community have a high COVID-19 incidence rate? Do the individuals attending your meeting come from high-risk communities themselves? What modes of transport do they bring? These questions and many more must be answered before you plan your gathering.

You must also consider whether they came into contact with anyone who has / might have the virus, or if they have any symptoms of the virus. All gatherings should take place outdoors or in large, spacious and ventilated rooms; everyone should wear masks and stay at least six feet apart. For some, this may be too expensive or time consuming, so the best option could be video chat sessions for family homes with other family households.

As we know, Guyanese are big on road / block parties during the Christmas season as well. I encourage you all to stay clear of these because, at the end of the day, you have to return home to your families. It’s also important to clean everything that comes into your home. From your Christmas presents and gifts to your lunch bags and the items and even your shoes. We all have a part to play if we want to reduce the number of cases.

Christmas is a very special occasion, yes. But, COVID-19 won’t stay away because it’s a special occasion – no. As you shop, plan your Christmas dinners / gatherings, receive gifts and visit loved ones during these holidays; I hope you all remember that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Everyone deserves to be happy and happy this Christmas season. Gee! We deserve it after the year we’ve had. At the same time, let us do all we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus in order to restore and heal ourselves, our loved ones, our country and the rest of the world.