I know of one Christmas party I won’t be attending this year. The Centers for Disease Control have issued their guidelines for how to make merry during the holidays, and if it’s any indication of how the epidemiologists, researchers, doctors, and bureaucrats let their hair down for Christmas, I’ll take a pass.
No singing Christmas carols, even outdoors. No drinking (I guess they didn’t feel it necessary to say “no smoking” either), and no loud music.
I guess blasting out Handel’s Messiah while shooting B-52s and singing “Jingle Bells” at the top of my voice is out this year.
“Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors,” one of the CDC’s bullet points recommend. “Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.”
Research has shown that the coronavirus is primarily transmitted from person-to-person through respiratory droplets like saliva. Actions like singing or raising your voice can increase a person’s chance of exposure.
I guess you really can’t blame the CDC. They’re in the public health business. Their idea of risky behavior is standing 5.8 feet apart and letting your mask slip over your nose.
But, really now. Singing and shouting will get you killed? And why forbid drinking? “Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures,” explains the CDC. It also makes it more difficult to keep one’s pants on, but is that any reason to give it up?
I think the CDC went a little overboard in coming up with these guidelines. For instance, the guidelines say we should “Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.” You can imagine how some of those conversations go. Try asking Aunt Mary not to go to her daughter’s piano recital because she won’t be able to come to Christmas dinner if she does.
And if you want to be the life of the party, try providing guests with “information about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and steps that will be in place at the gathering to prevent the spread of the virus.” Better than playing “Twister” I guess.
Make sure you cut the party short. “Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.”
No drinking, singing, carousing, or loud talking — my Uncle George would have had a hard time having fun at my party. I suppose he could always put a lampshade on his head.