November 19, 2020

Huggins Hospital offers advice for safe holidays

Huggins Hospital urges community members to alter holiday plans for gatherings and travel as local cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.

“Spending your Thanksgiving holiday with Zoom is a better option than having to spend your Christmas holiday in a hospital,” said Jeremy Roberge, Huggins Hospital’s President and CEO. “We will look back at this upcoming holiday season and have to ask ourselves if we were part of the solution or if we were a host to spreading this virus even more.”

The New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) continues to recommend against any non-essential personal or business travel. DPHS also states that people should avoid gathering with others who are not part of that person’s immediate household, even during the holidays.

This year is the year to try something new. Since COVID-19 can spread even when people are asymptomatic (when they do not have any symptoms of illness), gatherings can easily become events that spread the disease. Hosting a party can turn into hosting a deadly virus.

The experts at Huggins Hospital offer some tips for the upcoming holiday season:

  1. Take a break this year. Holidays can create a lot of stress in planning and organizing. With COVID-19 precautions, any gathering would put even more stress on the host. This year can be the year to take a break from that stress and spend some time focusing on your household. Check in on those who need it but focus your time and energy inward.
  2. Develop a new tradition that includes those who live in your household. Pick a specific game or movie that you also can incorporate into future years when it is safe to have people visit.
  3. If you’re planning a virtual celebration, just eat and chat like you always would. This allows you to eliminate the need to travel or gather in-person. Some virtual meet-up applications (such as Zoom) have waived their fees and time limits for the holidays so families can spend as much time as they need connecting with each other in that kind of space.

“We are hoping everyone will make changes to their usual holiday plans that focus on safety,” said John Boornazian, MD, Huggins Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. “It is important to remember that COVID-19 may result in disability or death and the risk may be elevated for those of a certain age and with other risk factors. We all play a part in keeping our entire community safe.”