MOST of us faced many challenges this year due to the pandemic. We’ve cried, we’ve lost, our anxieties peaked so of course many of us are looking forward to the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas has always been deeply rooted in Guyanese traditions and celebrations, so it might be difficult to give that up. Many of us would like to celebrate Christmas this year, but how can we do so without putting ourselves and our families at risk to the COVID-19 virus?
There are many factors to consider before you decide to host a Christmas gathering. Does your community have a high rate of COVID-19 cases? Are the persons who will be attending your gathering coming from high-risk communities themselves? What means of transportation are they coming with? These questions and many more must be answered before you plan your gathering.
You also have to consider if they came into contact with anyone who has/may have the virus, or if they have any symptoms of the virus. All gatherings should be held outdoors or in large, spacious and ventilated rooms; everyone should wear masks and they should stay at least six feet apart. For some, this might be too expensive or time-consuming, so the best option could be family household video chat sessions 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 steer clear of these because, at the end of the day, you have to return home to your families. It’s also important to sanitise everything that enters your home. From your Christmas presents and gifts to your grocery bags and the items and even your shoes. We all have a part to play if we want to see a decrease in 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 presents and visit loved ones during this holiday; I hope you all keep in mind that we are still amid a pandemic. Everyone deserves to be jolly and happy this Christmas season. Gee! We deserve it after the year we’ve had. At the same time, let’s do all that we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus for the recovery and betterment of ourselves, our loved ones, our country and the rest of the world.