The temperatures and snow are falling but the cases of COVID-19 are rapidly rising in our community.
Many felt this was to be expected as the colder weather encouraged people to socialize inside but if our schools, businesses, recreational spaces and non-profits are to remain open then we need to quickly reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our City and region.
Here are some suggestions on how we can all reverse the trend.
The most important action that we can take is to limit our social interaction with others, particularly in situations where we are indoors and not wearing masks. Data is showing that family gatherings are becoming one of the major causes of COVID spread; because who can resist hugging their Mom or brother at a family gathering?
If you do need to gather – try to do it outside – and WEAR A MASK. Get matching family masks so you can make it fun and enjoyable for everyone.
Or if you still want that big family Thanksgiving, suggest to everyone that they quarantine for two weeks prior to the event (you still have time). This means work/school, home and the grocery store – always masked – and that goes for every member of the family! Great opportunity to really limit your exposure so that you can come to your family gathering feeling confident that everyone has done their best to ensure that they are negative for the virus. To be extra sure, you could also test a few days prior and come with your clean bill of health!
Sadly this also means that birthday parties should be off the table for now unless you can find a fun outdoor activity to do. How about a sledding themed party – with a snowman building competition? Or ice skating? ALWAYS masked – even when outdoors – just to be extra safe. Perhaps you could hand out masks as party favors at the start rather than the end as a special way to keep everyone safe and provide a memorable keepsake? Limit numbers to a small group to reduce exposure and encourage the other parents to go have some fun of their own, so again, the number of people present is reduced.
For those parents operating school bubbles or even social bubbles for their children, this is an important time to check-in with the other families and make sure that everyone in the bubble is strictly adhering to social distancing. Bubbles are only safe if they are very small and very limited. Otherwise the following happens: John is in a bubble with Jane, but Jane does gymnastics with Sophia, and Sophia’s older brother is home for the holidays and hasn’t been socially distancing at college. Before you know it, poor John’s bubble is burst:( Everyone has different comfort zones, so make sure that your bubble are all in agreement and if not, reduce your bubble to what is safe for you and your needs.
Contact with positive individuals is going to happen, however careful you are, especially as the numbers rise. But by consistently wearing a mask you can not only protect yourself but others too. Very recent data from the CDC indicates that masks can be as effective at stopping you from catching the virus, as it is in protecting others if you are infected. It is a two-way street of safety.
Here at the Club we will keep wearing our masks, washing our hands and sticking to our small groups. Parents can help us stay open by ensuring that our members are also doing the same at home. If we work hard over the next month, get a little bit anti-social for a while, and have a quiet Thanksgiving, hopefully we can then have a much merrier Hanukkah and Christmas.
We are in this together – let’s help each other!