Creating a holiday bubble checklist for safer celebrating

Tips to lower COVID-19 risk during the holidays

November 5, 2020
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It's officially the 2020 holiday season that we will also have COVID-19 to deal with and work around. With cases going up across the country, family gatherings and traveling is risky. Group settings tend to be superspreaders. Is there a way to safely celebrate with family this season?  

 Dr. James McDeavitt, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, was inspired by his colleagues who are around COVID-19 patients everyday, but remain healthy. Also the success of the NBA's 'bubble' in Orlando, where the players were sequestered during the season. Having to follow strict rules, and the result was not a single player got infected. 

With this and more in mind, Dr. McDeavitt developed a 'holiday bubble checklist'. This list is for families to help reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread this winter / during the holiday season. Although the level of commitment is extremely important when building your 'family holiday bubble'. Every single person included needs to be on board with mitigation efforts well in advance of the holiday gathering. Designating one person as the 'bubble commissioner'. A person who's organized and willing to take responsibility for encouraging the entire family to get on board. Every single person included should be aware of the guidance, and take a pledge to stick to it. This is a must, and can't be done halfway. Avoid creating a false sense of security. 

The 'holiday bubble checklist' also advises everyone to get a flu shot, decreasing any developing flu-related illness around the holidays that can disrupt plans. Also self-quarantining as much as possible for 14 days ahead of any family gathering. Many times this is difficult for some with work and school schedules outside of their home, so it's advised to plan outdoor-only gatherings.

It's also important to know the checklist is not foolproof. It's a guide to help lower the risk and minimize the chance of spread. Families must also take into account those who have a greater risk for complications of COVID-19, and avoid putting them into harms way. Here's the holiday bubble checklist  More detailed instruction.

Remember everyone must stick to the guidances of their family holiday bubble for the lowest amount of risk. If that's not possible, stick to a family Zoom holiday gathering. Keeping the 2020 holiday season a happy one by always thinking of your family's well-being and safety first.