In Malaysia, we celebrate a variety of festivities – Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali, and more. We all look forward to these celebrations because they are occasions for social gatherings with our family, relatives, and friends.
Festive seasons offer us a wonderful opportunity to unwind, take a break from our busy workdays, and have fun times with our loved ones.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe in 2019, things have drastically changed on a worldwide level. Our lives have changed significantly during the last three years.
As we head towards the tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic, regulations and standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been relaxed, borders have been opened, and gatherings are allowed. However, taking precautions are already an essential practice in our daily lives and it will continue to be so.
Therefore, let us be reminded of certain precautions we can take to stay safe during the festive seasons.
What can we do to stay safe from COVID-19?
- Avoid taking COVID-19 risk lightly
COVID-19 should not be taken lightly although three years have passed. It is important to stay informed and take measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Be aware that the level of infection risk depends on the transmission in the area where we live. If you are hosting or attending in-person gatherings, avoid spending long hours in big gatherings, especially with young children and elderly people.
- If you feel sick, stay home
Stay home if you are down with symptoms (sore throat, cough, runny house), no matter how mild they may seem. Isolate yourself from others and get tested just to be safe.
- Mask up (Remember: not just the mouth but the nose too!)
It is important to take note that a mask is meant to cover your mouth and nose. Wearing a properly fitted mask can prevent the spread or infection of a virus. Choose your mask wisely and make sure to wear a good mask with a good fit and filtration.
- Get tested before and after traveling or gathering for the holidays
Get tested 1-3 days before a family gathering, or prior to any travel, even if you have no symptoms.
- Plan a small get-together
Plan small and different get-togethers for family and friends to prevent crowding. Do encourage all guests to sanitise their hands properly before entering the party venue.
- Gather outside or increase airflow in indoor spaces
Being outside reduces the of spread COVID-19 as compared to having close gatherings indoors. Having a good air ventilation system may reduce COVID-19 infection.
- Wash your hands
Last but not least, it is still crucial to wash your hands to protect against viruses. Staying hygienic is always a good measure.
Make an appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals
In conclusion, as we head towards the tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic, let us continue practising precautions to stay safe during the festive seasons.
If you encounter a situation that requires medical attention, please seek immediate medical attention at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.
- COVID-19 and the holidays: How to reduce your risk. Available at https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-and-the-holidays [Accessed 13 January 2023]
- Six ways to protect yourself and those around you during the holiday season. Available at https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news-room/feature-stories/item/six-ways-to-protect-yourself-and-those-around-you-during-the-holiday-season [Accessed on 13 January 2023]
- Nasihat Untuk Mengurangkan Risiko Jangkitan COVID-19 Ketika Menyambut Tahun Baru Cina. Available at https://www.infosihat.gov.my/images/media_sihat/infografik/jpeg/Nasihat%20untuk%20mengurangkan%20risiko%20jangkitan%20covid19%20chineseny.jpg [Accessed on 16 January 2023]