The Holiday Season is here! How to stay connected safely and virtually

Local News

The pandemic has changed everything, including how we celebrate the holidays.

Health authorities have said that the best way to keep everyone safe during the holiday season is to avoid traveling and gathering in person.

“You know COVID is obviously something that is contagious via the respiratory route and it gets spread around by people traveling and getting in different groups, and getting together for the holidays, especially indoors,” explained Dr. Scott Milton, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist at Texas Tech Physicians.

For those that do choose to travel, Dr. Milton advised to keep those who you choose to visit’s best interest in mind.

Dr. Milton continued, “And if that’s not possible, then I think my advice to people would be to be very careful about individuals in your family, who may be at risk of having a complication from COVID.”

Additionally, anticipated family holiday dinners this year could shift to creative alternatives, such as a potluck or a dish drop.

Balmar Bakery Owner, Deana Zaccardo, contributed a few ideas for those who may not feel like cooking.

She explained, “I’m still a proponent of like if you do like to go out and eat, maybe what you could do differently this year is order the food ahead and actually bring it home. Several places offer buffets.”

Zaccardo said this also gives everyone the opportunity to support local restaurants.

Lastly, one of the most important ways to stay connected with family and friends this holiday season is by using technology.

“There’s something different about seeing someone’s face versus just talking to them on the phone, or even worse, just texting back and forth,” stated Pedro Limas, Owner and Operator of Sound by Design.

He spoke about multiple gadgets on Amazon and other online retailers that can enhance the video-chat experience, however he also agreed that popular apps like Zoom can get the job done.

On the other hand, if all else fails, Limas explained all you need is a mobile device and a video call.

“Clearly we can always fall back to Facetime. And I’m sure that was one of the first things that grandparents got to learn how to use.. is Facetime for grandkids or even kids and showing their face,” said Limas.

For those less familiar with the mentioned technology, Limas had a few recommendations.

He advised, “Check your devices that you’re going to use early. That way you can get them replaced, get them repaired, or get your internet up to speed for what you’re wanting to do and communicate.”

Lastly, please try to be patient.

Limas stated, “Technology is allowing us to stay connected without being in the same room or even in the same city.”

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