As the holiday season approaches, Tia Harish looks at how to stay safe.
The number of daily cases of Covid-19 remains high, so people must make decisions on how to celebrate the holiday seation while staying safe.
The first instinct might be to meet just your closest relatives, and video call the rest. But what about the friends you haven’t seen in five months? And your children and their friends? Should you invite them as well? Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a proper list of rules to follow? In preparation, the Ontario government has released a list of the safest activities for the holiday season.
Some of these activities are things you would have thought of and might even do every year. These include stringing lights and decorations around your home, lighting the menorah, and baking treats with those in your household. Donating to a charity or toy drive is also considered a safe activity, but you might consider disinfecting your donations before giving them away, for that extra layer of security.
Typical pandemic-era activities include video-calling those you would normally invite to parties and attending drive-through events, where you can experience the holiday spirit from the comfort of your car. Another growing pandemic trend that you can try out is having a watch party by using Netflix or general video sharing software to watch a movie with your friends and family.
Visiting Santa, Mrs. Santa and the elves outdoors, while wearing masks and maintaining a two-metre distance, is considered safe. No one is allowed to sit on Santa’s lap this year.
The Ontario guidelines state that social distancing is still in order for public holiday celebrations, and attending outdoor events are relatively safer than indoor events in malls. If you aren’t that keen on public celebrations but still want to take advantage of the season, solo snow activities like building a snowman or going on a sleigh ride with your household are also good ideas.
(See the 2021 Winter issue of Lake Simcoe Living for more suggestions of outdoor activities.)
The Ontario government is also encouraging people to shop locally, to help boost the economy. This holiday season, spread the goodwill by helping others, especially local businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.
For the province’s guidelines on which activities are considered safe, which are risky, and which are dangerous, visit https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59338/celebrate-the-holiday-season-safely
Barrie area residents’ children, grandchildren, friends’ kids or colleagues’ families who want deliver their wish list personally to Santa can go to www.SantaVisitOnLine.ca and for a donation of $10 ( or more ), they can have a visit with Santa using Zoom. This is a private meeting with Santa using video conferencing.
All of the money raised will go directly to the charitable efforts of the Rotary Club of Barrie, which is the largest, oldest service club in the Barrie area.
Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Barrie