“If you have to—and can afford it—I think traveling by car is the safest option right now, in part because you’re not traveling with another person whose risk of infection may be unknown,” Chris Hendel, a medical researcher associated with the USC Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science and Innovation, told Condé Nast Traveler.
“Essentially you aren’t sharing the breathing space with someone who could be infected. But of course, one needs to be very cautious about stopping while traveling by car. I think train travel might possibly have an edge over air travel. Regardless, everyone should be wearing a mask on the train or in the plane.”
Much like recommendations for Thanksgiving, experts say holding small, socially distanced gatherings outdoors is safer than having company indoors.
“Outdoors, those infectious particles are more likely to get dispersed before others can breathe them in,” Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst told the news outlet.
Keep coronavirus guidelines in mind by having seating spaced six feet apart and make sure guests are wearing masks when they’re not eating.
Make some changes to your holiday meal
If the weather will be too cold to host dinner outside, ensure there’s enough ventilation indoors by opening a window. It may also be beneficial to purchase an air filter, such as a HEPA air purifier. Ahead of Thanksgiving, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, planned to utilize the device if frigid weather prevented him and his wife from celebrating outdoors.
It’s also important to designate one person to serve the meals to avoid crowding at a buffet-style setup.
“Have individual packages or portions of things,” Marybeth Sexton, assistant professor of medicine in Emory University’s Division of Infectious Diseases told WebMD when making recommendations for Memorial Day. “You definitely don’t want multiple people putting their hands into something.”
Push in-person celebrations until after a vaccine
As companies continue to make progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine, the light is starting to shine at the end of the tunnel as to when people can begin to return to a sense of normalcy.
That includes the kinds of in-person gatherings we’re used to.
It’s not likely that a vaccine will emerge until spring 2021, however. So the safest get-togethers will have to wait until then.
In the meantime, here are some ways you can celebrate the holidays virtually.