QCOSTARICA – You cannot cover the sun with one finger and look the other way: there will be get-togethers and parties this end of the year despite the epidemic
Juan José Romero, coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology at the National University (UNA), is emphatic: it would be best not to meet at all to avoid possible covid-19 infections and to hold celebrations within our social bubble, but the fatigue typical of all the months of this “new normal” means that the year-end get-togethers will be taking place.
“Ideally, the get-togethers should be avoided,” continues Romero; however, since it is highly probable that the get-togethers will take place, regardless of whether they are between family members or not, we should try, as far as possible, to comply with the following recommendations.
“This is not a Christmas like any other. A little oversight can be the difference between life and death. And I am not being dramatic, negative, or pessimistic, I am being realistic. In these parties, we must understand that the greatest show of affection is to live love from a distance, no matter how hard it sounds and is,” said Juan José Romero.
- Try not to break social bubbles. Remember that your social bubble is the one made up of the people who live with you under the same roof and who, in theory, follow the same rules of conduct that have been set for the home.
- If you are going to burst your bubble, gather as few people as possible, from as few social bubbles as possible.
- If you have signs or symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, or if you know or suspect that you have been in contact with a person who is sick with Covid-19, please do not leave your home.
- Try to hold the get-together in an open or well-ventilated area and keep the air intakes open throughout the celebration. Do not use the air conditioner under any circumstances.
- When receiving visitors or arriving at the get-together, avoid unrestrained greetings. Try to greet from afar.
- Ideally, everyone should wash their hands with plenty of soap and water. Use disposable paper towels and a trash can with a lid, hopefully a pedal one, or at least a pendulum one, should be available. If this is not possible there should be a hand disinfection station with an alcoholic solution of 70% concentration.
- All people in the get-together should wear a mask.
- As far as possible, each person will have a personal glass that they must use throughout the get-together or, failing that, use cardboard disposable tableware that will be deposited in a specially dedicated garbage can.
- Each person must serve their own drinks, having previously disinfected their hands.
- Avoid, as much as possible, serving sandwiches or canapes. If so, the recommendation is that, when appropriate, use toothpicks or similar, already placed on the sandwich; ideally individual plates have been prepared for each person. People should always wear the mask and only remove it when they put food or drink in their mouth.
- At mealtime, it is preferred that few people serve food to others. Those serving food should have washed their hands thoroughly and will wear masks at all times. The use of latex or plastic gloves is not recommended.
- The places to eat should be arranged at tables of four to six people, looking for people from the same social bubble to sit at the same table. It is not recommended to mix people of different bubbles at the same table. The tables must be spaced at least 1.5 meters between the backs of the chairs.
- Try to converse in a low voice and avoid loud conversations or laughter while at the table and while the mask is not being used. Try to save these activities for after eating when you wear the mask.
- The dishes that were used, if not disposable, should ideally be placed in a container with soapy water. If it is not possible, leave it in a place to be washed later by someone who should use: plastic apron, mask and face shield.
- As much as possible, avoid activities like karaoke; If you must, it should be done by singing with the mask on and disinfecting the microphone between person and person. People should disinfect their hands before and after using the microphone.
- It is highly recommended not to take group photos without a mask. Moreover, almost as a memory of a different Christmas, it would be good to take the photos all with the masks on. It will be an interesting memory to comment on in the future.
- At the end of the get-together, likewise, avoid high contact goodbyes. If there were handshakes, disinfect your hands before entering the vehicle.
All the above sucks.
This year-end is not like any other. If we do not keep sanitary measures, the probability of Covid 19 disease increases, and with it the risk of serious illness or death.
If you or anyone in your social bubble shows symptoms of illness within seven days of the get-together, you should let everyone who attended know. That can make the big difference between carrying an infection in a controlled way or becoming seriously ill.