Celebrating the Holidays During COVID-19

As we enter the holidays, we’re learning more and more about the COVID-19 vaccines that will be available in the coming weeks and months. It’s incredibly exciting and comforting news to hear, and we can’t wait to cover the vaccine as part of your Friday health plan!

That said, there is still a pandemic surging across the United States right now. Cases continue to spike, even more so after Thanksgiving. As a result, health officials are encouraging folks to modify their plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

At the end of the day, how you celebrate the holidays with your family is a personal choice. These are very stressful and unique times, so everyone needs to weigh their own risks and do what makes the most sense for them and their communities.

But here’s a quick outline of recommendations from the CDC, as well as ways to use your Friday Health Plan if you’re feeling under the weather.

As always, please get in touch with our friendly customer service team with any questions at questions@fridayhealthplans.com. We’re here to help!

The safest choice this holiday season

The best way to keep your family, friends, and communities safe, according to health officials, is to celebrate at home with the people in your household. This includes family members and friends who live in your housing unit -- folks who have been taking the same measures as you to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Celebrate virtually with your friends and extended family

While the idea of not seeing certain family members during the holidays is disheartening, this might be the year to celebrate virtually. Set up a time to connect with family on FaceTime or Zoom in the next week.

Throw a virtual party with games you can play on your phone! These are a few of the Friday Team’s favorite games:

  • Heads Up is a trivia guessing game the whole family can enjoy and it’s easy to do so virtually! Download the game ahead of time, set a timer for two minutes, and have one team member hold up the phone screen to their forehead. The rest of the team can call out clues until the player guesses the answer. Once the player guesses correctly, they’ll tilt the phone down slightly, and a new word will appear. Continue guessing until the two minutes is up and see how many answers you can get! You’ve likely seen or played this one before:
  • Quick Draw is like a virtual version of Pictionary that’s super user-friendly, the perfect game for grandkids and grandparents alike.
  • Lastly, Outburst is an online version of family feud, a game that involves quick thinking and fast (read: loud) talking. I mean, what are the holidays without family members trying to yell over each other?

Pro-tip: Enlist the help of your family’s de facto ringleader to rally everybody and pick out fun games to play. Let the younger generation sort out any technical questions or difficulties beforehand to make sure this is easy and fun for everyone!

Host a virtual gifting

There’s no reason why you need to miss out on special family traditions during the holidays. Send your gifts in early and do a live virtual unwrapping! Schedule a group call and make sure you loop in the entire fam, including grandma and grandpa.

Traveling during the holidays

The pandemic has been incredibly isolating and frustrating -- and we understand many will be traveling to see family in the upcoming weeks.

Traveling on public transportation increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by being in close contact with others for long periods of time. To reduce your risk, the CDC recommends wearing a mask during the entire process of traveling, including while waiting in security lines and busy airport terminals.

Although it’s tough to social distance the entire time, try to maintain six feet when you can. And make sure you wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

A few important tips to know when wearing a mask:

  • Wear masks with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Masks should be worn by people two years and older

Traveling to another state? Know the local health and safety laws before you go. You can find them here.

How to make your holiday celebration safer

The holidays don’t have to be an all or nothing event this year. In fact, there are many simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of infection at your gathering. Here are several of the CDC’s top recommendations:

  • Celebrate outdoors (when possible): Keep the festivities outside on the porch or the backyard when possible. Get a fire going, bundle up in that cozy sweater you love, and drink some hot cider (hot cocoa for the kiddos!).
  • Be safe before the gathering: In the days leading up to your get-together, make sure your group is on the same page about precautions you’re all taking. It’s no fun having to police your loved ones’ behavior, but the worst thing would be getting surprised by something while you’re all together, when it’s too late.
  • Get tested before the gathering: None of these safety measures are fool-proof, but if everyone gets tested beforehand that’s a step in the right direction. Importantly, folks should reduce their risk of exposure before and after getting tested.
  • Keep the festivities shorter: One thing we know is that the more time you spend with someone, the greater your chances are of getting infected and spreading the virus. Rather than spending a full day on Christmas, for example, keep it just to Christmas morning or an outdoor Christmas Eve dinner.
  • Wear masks when you’re not eating that delicious pumpkin pie or sipping your glass of wine.

If you’re hosting a holiday celebration this year, you can make it safer by:

  • Limiting the number of attendees as much as possible. Think: close family and those you trust the most (limit those visits from neighbors and friends).
  • Keeping the festivities outside as much as possible (weather permitting).
  • Increasing ventilation in your home by opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Encouraging mask-wearing and hand-washing. Hand out masks to your guests upon arrival and have hand sanitizer at the ready.
  • Keeping all those extra cooks out of the kitchen. And, when you serve your guests, try to designate one person to serve all the food so that multiple people aren’t handling the serving utensils.

Friday Health Plans has you covered this holiday season

$0 COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

  • Friday Health Plans will cover testing and treatment of COVID-19 at no cost to members -- no coinsurance and no copays.
  • Friday members can get $0 Teladoc visits. Members can use Teladoc to speak with a doctor by phone or video 24/7 at no cost. Doctors can answer member’s questions about the coronavirus, evaluate their health risk, and support members to help relieve symptoms, addressing both physical and mental health.

Connect with a doctor virtually with Teladoc

Every Friday member can talk to a doctor by phone or live video at no cost through Teladoc. Doctors can answer questions about the coronavirus, evaluate your health risk and if you need medical testing provide support to help relieve symptoms, addressing both physical and mental health needs. Create a Teladoc account now.

  • If you’re new to Teladoc, review the FAQ’s on their website.
  • For the fastest support, access Teladoc through the mobile App or web
  • Traveling during the holidays? Be sure to have your Teladoc account set up, including completing your medical history on your account set up page. Completing your medical history ahead of time can accelerate visit requests.

To review all of the CDC’s recommendations for holiday gatherings, visit this page here. Again, these are all considerations to take into account, not laws or regulations. Every family will do what makes the most sense for them, but we hope this information is helpful. Happy holidays, Friday members!


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