Christmas is a time we all look forward to every year, and although the past few months may have felt like we are over the worst, the new Omicron variant seems like it has other plans for us. With masks once again being mandatory attire and the ambiguity around another lockdown, it’s best to take precautions in these uncertain times. To have a Christmas we can all enjoy, there are things we can do to ensure we keep ourselves, and the ones we love, safe this holiday season.
We all know that crowds are a breeding ground for Covid, and no crowds are worse than those we endure at Christmas. To avoid this, shop online where you can. Nearly every store you’d visit on the high street has that option, and it’s the simplest solution to avoiding the manic Christmas rush. Plus, this way, if you’re umming and ahhing over what gift set to get someone, you can contemplate for as long as you like without people breathing down your neck.
Do not ‘panic buy’
I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT panic buy. Panicking buying is selfish and unnecessary. We all witnessed the effect it had on vulnerable people back in 2020, so we must avoid a repeat of this at all costs. We are already starting to see a shortage of certain products, so please don’t make it worse. Before you go to pick up six crates of water, ten packets of toilet roll and all the flour in the baking aisle for no apparent reason, consider the elderly or those less fortunate and ONLY buy what you need. Think frugality, not overabundance!
Avoid peak hours
For those nine-to-fivers, this one isn’t going to be so easy for you. However, those of you who study, or work from home etc., if you can avoid travelling, shopping or mingling with the outside world in general during peak hours (6:30 - 9:30 & 16:00 - 19:30), then please do. It’s for pretty much the same reasons as to why we should avoid crowds this season but also, some people have no choice but to be out during these times, so let’s give the streets to them and if you must endure the cold, try and do it during off-peak hours.
Limit your travel
Travelling is stressful at the best times but travelling during the holidays... It's a whole other ballgame. Many of us have families scattered around the country, so it will be inevitable for some if there isn’t another lockdown. Outside of that, however, limit your travel as much as you can, especially if you are using public transport. If lockdown 1, 2,3 or 4 (I’ve lost count) has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always rely on each other to keep one another safe, so it’s easier to limit your contact with people in this way as much as you can.
Hygiene comes first
You’d think this would be a given, but if the last two years have taught us anything, the importance of hygiene is not as obvious to some as we might have hoped. Please wash your hands, don’t sneeze and then touch a door handle or something in the supermarket, keep your mask on because it doesn’t affect your liberty in any way, shape or form, and keep a little bottle of hand sanitiser with you wherever you go – please, and thank you.
Make sure you’re up to date with your jabs
Although being double jabbed doesn’t stop you from catching Covid entirely, it can make the symptoms a lot easier to deal with. The vaccine helps protect you and those around you, so if you’re due a booster, haven’t been double jabbed yet or still need to get your first one, now is the time to do so. Even without Covid, this year’s flu season is said to be horrendous. If you’re eligible, get your flu jab and follow all the common sense protocols like washing your hands, keeping your windows open (I know it’s freezing), and if you feel unwell, keep that to yourself because that is not the kind of Christmas gift anyone asked for.
For more information on Covid-19 and vaccinations, visithere.