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Neither Halloween nor Thanksgiving Will Be the Same: CDC Suggests How to Hold Year-End Celebrations During the Pandemic | The NY Journal


Yom Kippur, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, New YearsThey are all celebrations that take place in different cultures during the last months of the year, but this 2020 things will be different.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a guide suggesting how to celebrate the end of the year celebrations during the pandemic, and among their recommendations they invite you to prefer virtual meetings over personal ones.

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household presents a low risk of spread. Meetings in person present different levels of risk. Event organizers and attendees should consider the risk of spreading the virus based on the size of the event and the use of mitigation strategies, ‚ÄĚsays the guidance posted on the CDC website.

In particular, the health authority suggests that People with symptoms of COVID-19, waiting for the results of a viral test, should not participate or organize any face-to-face festivities, who have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days, who are at increased risk of serious illness (older adults, people with underlying diseases or compromised immune systems), or who live with someone who has it.


The CDC clarifies that a Halloween mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus. They also discourage wearing face masks under a costume, because it can make breathing difficult. Fabric masks decorated with Halloween motifs can be used as long as they are made of two or more layers of breathable fabric and that they cover the mouth and nose without leaving gaps around the face.

Among the activities with the highest risk for this day are the traditional “trick or treat” in which children order candy from door to door, deliver treats from cars, attend crowded costume parties indoors, or go to haunted houses crowded together and screaming.

The guide suggests that outdoor activities in small groups and with a distance of at least six feet between participants (or more if yelling is likely) may be of moderate risk. Lower risk activities include those that can be done only among the people who live in the home, such as decorating the house, carving pumpkins, organizing a movie night or a virtual costume contest.

Day of the Dead

For this party, the CDC They discourage large celebrations with members of different families and places, especially when held indoors or with singing. If you do outdoor activities, keep a minimum distance of six feet, wear masks, and wash your hands frequently. Low-risk activities include decorating an altar for the dead at home, preparing food at home, and holding virtual celebrations.


Although families often travel to reunite on this day, The CDC suggests that this year only have a small dinner with the people who live at home and join virtually with friends and family for the celebration. Black Friday shopping is best done online and watching sporting events, parades and movies at home.

Go shopping in crowded stores, attend mass parades or large gatherings with people with whom the home is not shared are activities that represent a greater risk of contagion of COVID-19.

In all the celebrations

The CDC emphasizes that in communities with more cases of coronavirus the risk of infection is higher, particularly if meetings are held indoors with poor ventilation. Also, Longer meetings are also riskier, as are those with more people. They also point out that traveling increases the possibility of contracting and spreading COVID-19, “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

At all times and in any celebration it is necessary to maintain the preventive measures that are already known: wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use antibacterial gel, use suitable masks and keep the minimum distance six feet between people. It is particularly necessary to take care when preparing, serving and eating food, as well as the use of common places where people can gather, such as corridors, kitchens and toilets. And of course, it is very important to get a flu shot this year.



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