Meet friends and family outdoors
One of the best things about Christmas in Australia during a global pandemic? It’s hot. This means that most of us can comfortably gather outdoors. Studies show that it’s 10 times easier to transmit the virus inside compared to outside – so enjoying your festive gatherings outside is a great strategy if you want to keep your loved ones safe.
You could hold a big picnic in the park, meet down at the beach, or hold a family get-together in someone’s backyard. Down Under, the outdoor options are endless at this time of year. Spare a thought for friends in the northern hemisphere, where temperatures plummet in December and socialising outside is nigh on impossible.
Ditch the share plates
Traditionally, Christmas feasts feature tables laden with generous platters and bowls of food. People pile servings onto their plates, before passing the dishes on. This isn’t the most ideal situation in a pandemic.
Instead, think of ways you can create a festive feast without the shared utensils and platters. If you’re doing a brunch, you could whip up individual jars of bircher muesli topped with fresh berries. At lunch, assign one person to handle and serve the food for each meal (ideally wearing mask and gloves while they work). Give people individual bowls of nuts or cute little one-person cheeseboards. Whip up Masterchef-worthy trifles or individual Eton messes in some more glass jars. The options are endless.
And invest in a pile of bamboo plates and cutlery. This is one year where you can ethically get away with no dirty dishes.
Consider your travel plans
With borders opening up around the country, many people are understandably keen to jump on a plane to visit friends and family they haven’t seen all year. Interestingly, health experts are less concerned about the transmission of the virus on the plane, thanks to the efficient air filtering systems onboard. That said, airports are a risk. So if you’re flying, don a mask, use hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly, and keep up with the social distancing.
If you’re driving to your holiday destination, again, follow the health guidelines. Use hand sanitiser before and after filling up with petrol, wash hands before and after eating, and stay 1.5 metres away from others in common areas.
Know the symptoms and get them checked It goes without saying that if you or a loved one is feeling unwell, and is experiencing symptoms like fever, coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath, then you should steer clear of others and get a Covid test ASAP. It’s simply not worth the risk to your extended family or social group.
In the meantime, enjoy planning what may turn out to be a very special – albeit slightly different – festive season. Stay safe, and keep washing those hands!