Following a significant drop in COVID-19 infections, many people had hoped to celebrate the holiday season in style, visit malls, cinemas and clubs to relax and have an unrestricted fun vacation unlike in the past. restrictions on social gatherings that characterized the previous holiday.
Sadly, just weeks before Christmas, a deadlier and more virulent variant of COVID-19, omicron, discovered in South Africa has thrown a wrench into the works. Within days, the infection rate rose and spread globally, forcing countries to reimpose travel bans, among other measures, to stem the spread.
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control said domestic and international travel should be scrapped at this time, unless it is unavoidable. NCDC Director General Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the rising infection rate must serve as a strong warning that people do not let their guard down.
Compliance with non-pharmaceutical protocols such as social distancing, wearing face masks and using hand sanitizers has since been encouraged as scientists attempt to learn more about the new variant.
Public health expert Dr Rotimi Adesanya said that while people would like to have a good time, it is important to take preventative measures against COVID-19.
He said, “The number of this omicron variant is increasing day by day. Lagos recorded nearly 1,000 cases of COVID-19 a few days ago and this only concerns those who have been tested. Lots of people have been infected, so people need to be careful.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t socialize because humans are social animals, people should just follow safety guidelines and the government should enforce those guidelines as well, especially in event centers. People have stopped observing all these rules and if we continue like this, the result would be unpleasant for all of us. ”
Two things have been established about omicron: it is highly transmissible and more infectious than the delta variant. In addition, the ability of vaccines to stop omicron variant infections after two doses has been abandoned, according to scientists in South Africa. And in the UK, health officials say the risk of one household member transmitting the virus to another member is three times higher than it was with the delta variant.
However, the good news is that the situation was not as bad as it was in 2020. We are in a much different place than last Christmas. Even though vaccines cannot stop all infections, scientists have found that they still offer good protection against serious illness. And if you are able to receive booster shots, you are highly protected and can carry on with your vacation plans without fear.
But if you are one of the millions of Nigerians who have yet to be fully immunized let alone boosted, you can still have a memorable Christmas and New Year holiday. Here are 10 ways to have a great vacation without exposing yourself to infection and risking your life.
Plan fun activities for everyone
You can go for fun outdoor activities with social distancing in mind. Watch movies about Santa Claus together or any family movie. Plan board games or create your own. Anything can be done to eliminate the boredom of staying at home.
Share an old tradition
What did you like to do when you were a kid? You can watch all old TV shows. “Think about the essence of the vacation for yourself, so that you can try to preserve it,” said “Happier at Home” author Gretchen Rubin. “Even if you don’t do everything you used to do, you can set up the holiday decorations, if that’s really important, or prepare the special foods you like. “
Start a new tradition
Maybe you can afford to skate in the park on Christmas Eve; or find a place in your enclosure to have a barbecue. A family sleepover next to the tree won’t be a bad idea either. Brainstorm with your children; just try something different to enjoy the holidays.
Show kindness to the needy
Share your holiday spirit with a family halfway around the world. You can visit orphanages, hospitals and more. Imagine the excitement a child will feel when these foods are delivered. There are so many ways to brighten up someone’s day; buy coffee for a stranger, call a loved one out of the blue, send a friend a meal, and donate blood. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how much the people in our lives mean to us. Spread some happiness where you can. Write down how much the people you love mean to you and send it to them. Bake Christmas cookies and leave some for your friends and neighbors, or drop off pizza or other goodies at a local nursing home, hospital or fire department to brighten up the lives of the people there.
Sponsor small businesses
When it comes to Christmas celebrations, gifts play an important role. This Christmas, shopping locally or in small businesses can really help business owners trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, and will reinforce the meaning of your gifts.
You don’t need to have guests or attend a dinner party elsewhere to dress for the occasion. Put on your fancy clothes and enjoy your turkey, rice and toppings.
Attend online service
Church services are an important part of Christmas for many people. If you are worried about being exposed to the virus, of course you should not forgo a service. You can find a church that runs it online and get connected.
We may not have the opportunity to see each other one-on-one this holiday season, but you can still send messages of hope and love, via cards. Give your loved ones more meaning by sending them nifty cards.
You can ask your family members for a list of five or ten gifts they would like to receive, with the understanding that they will only receive one or two. There is no crime in asking for a gift of your choice from your loved ones as well as long as it is affordable to them.
Observe the safety advice
Wash your hands well and often. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Watch out for sick people, clean surfaces such as doorknobs and counters that are subject to constant contact, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Sources: Kidshealth.org, worldvision.ca, latimes.com
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