Covid-19: ideas to celebrate Christmas safely
How to be together at Christmas without getting infected? This is the question everyone is asking. To achieve this, some are making some surprising proposals.
With less than a month before Christmas, preparations are accelerating. And at this point in the Covid-19 epidemic, they are nothing like those of previous years. Beyond the tree decoration and the gift list, one question remains a priority: how to reunite with the family without contamination?
Social distancing, ventilation, hand washing. Barrier gestures will clearly be more essential than ever during these special year-end celebrations. But what other measures to put in place to have a safe Christmas despite the coronavirus epidemic?
Suggestions from France
It is essential to take certain steps. "If you go with the grandparents, you have to put the mask on inside the house. And you do not take it off until you eat. After the last spoon is finished, you put the mask back on," specifies the president of the AP medical establishment. HP Rémi Salomon, adding: "Let is try not to be too many in the room. And you have to open the windows regularly, even if it is cold outside."
United Kingdom: celebrating Christmas in the streets
In the UK, British scientists have suggested celebrating the outdoor parties. This idea came from the Independent SAGE, a group of scientists independent of the government. "The transmission of the infection is mainly a problem of confined spaces, especially those that are overcrowded, poorly ventilated and have poor hygiene. This means that safety can be improved," said a statement on November 23.
To limit the risk of contamination, scientists have suggested that they gather outside to celebrate Christmas. "The outside is much safer than the inside," recalls Independent Sage Fellow Professor Susan Michie in The Guardian. In particular, suggest "walking with the people" outside during this meeting.
United States: spending the holidays in your garage
On Thanksgiving, which took place on November 26, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made several recommendations. "Indoor meetings, especially those that are poorly ventilated, present more risk than outdoor meetings," the health authority said on its website. To limit the risk of contamination, some Americans have redoubled their wits, putting their table in their garage! And for good reason: these places are more ventilated than the rest of the house.
Belgium: postpone Christmas until this summer
Last October, Frédérique Jacobs, head of the infectious diseases department at the Erasme hospital in Brussels (Belgium), made a surprising proposal to "save Christmas". Invited to the set of the program Questions en Prime on RTBF, she had suggested spending the end of the year celebrations "in smaller numbers, with distance measures or even postponing the end of the year celebrations to July-August, when the weather is good."
An idea to say the least surprising, validated by Axel Kahn, geneticist and president of the League Against Cancer, said: "I am a grandfather, I have a lot of grandchildren. Personally, but it is my responsibility, not to impose it at all, I decided that he was going to celebrate Christmas in June. "
Quebec: isolating yourself before and after the holidays
In Quebec, Prime Minister François Legault signed a "moral contract" with citizens. The idea? Insulate yourself before and after the holiday season so you can get together at Christmas while limiting the risk of contamination. "Ideally we want to have some kind of lockdown, a week before, a week after," he said. Quebecers may meet twice between December 24 and 27, with a limit of 10 people, subject to changes in the health situation.
Covid-19: the most essential barrier gestures than ever at Christmas
Internationally, many specialists also recommend getting tested before a family reunion. "The best solution is to quarantine yourself for 14 days and then get tested," Eric Cioe-Peña, manager of the Northwell Health care network in New York (United States) told HuffPost in the United States. However, these essential precautions do not dispense with barrier gestures. And for good reason: it is difficult to maintain a strict quarter fortnight, especially when you have to travel to reunite with your family at Christmas, but also because there are risks of false negative results with Covid-19 tests. Frequent hand washing, social distancing, ventilation, and the use of a mask will therefore be more necessary than ever during the Christmas season.