Here's what celebrating Christmas 2020 could look like, according to medical experts
File photo of a man arranging Christmas lanterns for sale in Manila.
Interaksyon/Bernard Testa
Here's what celebrating Christmas 2020 could look like, according to medical experts
Ratziel San Juan ( - September 26, 2020 - 1:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — An end date for the coronavirus pandemic remains uncertain, but the holidays are surely drawing near.

Will this year’s Yuletide turn for the worse? Doctors say not necessarily.

The Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC), a group representing more than 160 health organizations, recently discussed how to prepare and protect Filipino families from the COVID-19 threat during the upcoming holiday season.

Local medical experts from HPAAC said it is still very much possible to practice the same customs, but it is best to expect a “Christmas with a twist.”

With Christmas comes attached a range of responsibilities from shopping and spending, to cooking and hosting.

To help you plan ahead for COVID-free festivities, here are tips prescribed by Dr. Aileen Espina, national director of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians, and several of her colleagues.

  • Be mindful if local ordinances prohibit gatherings.
  • Virtual activities should be practiced instead in areas with high local transmission of COVID-19.
  • Face-to-face social activities are possible as long as proper distancing, contact reduction and protection precautions are observed, especially for more vulnerable family members.
  • Wear face masks and face shields (except for children under two years) during gatherings.
  • Practice proper hygiene, particularly handwashing.
  • Family and neighborhood gatherings should be held as much as possible outdoors, such as in a garden or lawn.
  • Guests should be limited and screened, with a strict schedule observed during the gathering.
  • Members of the same household should be seated together.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms such as coughing or fever prior to the event should not attend.
  • Videoke and alcohol should not be at the venue.
  • Notify other guests if symptoms are experienced after the gathering.
  • Online shopping for gifts is preferable.

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