To say Christmas is different this year is an understatement. COVID-19 has turned the entire world upside down and with it came changes that no one saw coming. Among the things that drastically changed during this time of the pandemic is how special occasions and milestones are celebrated. This Christmas season, homeowners associations may allow celebrations in their communities but with a few restrictions to minimize the risk of contracting the coronavirus and keep everyone safe.
Here are a few HOA tips on how to celebrate Christmas or other special occasions for that matter without increasing your risk or exposure to the virus:
1. Follow CDC guidelines
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been on top of the situation since the onset of the pandemic. They have been providing guidelines on practically everything that has to do with keeping everyone safe while going about their business. With that said, HOAs should remind their homeowner-members to strictly follow CDC guidelines on celebrations.
2. Celebrate with household members only
Household members are those who live in the same house with you, which could be your immediate family and other relatives. As much as possible, it is advised that celebrations should be held among household members only as each of you follow the same health and safety protocols, and you are all aware of each other’s comings and goings.
3. Keep gatherings down to a small group only
If it really can’t be helped, and you must invite a few people over, make sure to keep the guest list to a bare minimum. In other words, make the gathering small. And since you will be inviting people from other households, you all must follow the general safety protocols recommended by the WHO and CDC: wear a face mask (and a face shield, if possible), always wash your hands with soap and water (make sure to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds), and sneeze in the fold between your arm and elbow. Remove your mask to eat and drink, and wear it afterwards.
4. Celebrate outdoors
One of the latest findings about the novel coronavirus is that it can infect other people through airborne transmission. And airborne transmission poses a higher risk in enclosed spaces, so for small gatherings, it is strongly advised that you hold it outdoors for better air circulation, if possible. Make sure to double-check with your HOA about outdoor gatherings at this time.
5. Practice physical distancing
If you’re inviting guests, make sure to practice physical distancing (at least six feet apart from one another at all times), so arrange seats in a way that will make it easier for everyone to keep their distance.
Also, do not hesitate to un-invite those who are feeling sick on the day of your small party.