By Sola Ogundipe
One issue that is occupying people’s minds this festive period and the new year is how to safely celebrate the season in the wake of the COVID-19 second wave of infections that has enveloped the world.
If you are planning to meet people over the festive season, there are many ways you can reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Scientists have warned against the possibility of a surge in coronavirus infections during the Yuletide.
And since coming into close contact with other people is the main transmission route of the coronavirus, traditional gatherings could be potentially unsafe this holiday season.
The most common cause of transmission is indoor gatherings, especially parties. The best way to cut the risk of transmitting the virus is to wear a mask, maintain hand hygiene, stay outside and keep two metres apart.
One of rhe safest ways to celebrate the holidays is at home with the people who live with you even though there is no such thing as a totally COVID-safe family gathering.
But you can minimise the total numbers of both attendees and households at any gathering.
A celebration with many residents from a single household is less risky than a gathering involving fewer persons from different households.
Remember, even a small gathering can spark an outbreak, so beware.
Almost half of those who contract the new coronavirus do not experience telltale symptoms and so may unwittingly spread it further.
Apart from avoid ing social gatherings, it is advisable to aalso limit travelling. If you need to travel at this time, you must avoid people who may already face a heightened risk of COVID-19 infection. Avoid traveling to areas where the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise.
It is safest to celebrate with people within your community so as to avoid transmission among different regions. I
It is advisable to wear face masks both indoors and outdoors and wash or sanitise your hands. Ensure that any indoor celebrations take place in well-ventilated spaces.
Before going anywhere, check how the epidemic is playing out in your local region at the time of travel.
Wear a face mask when in public or in the close vicinity of people. and continue physical distancing – staying two metres apart.
Keep washing your hands as often as possible. If there is limited or no access to soap and water, the use hand sanitisers with at least 70 percent alcohol content.