Stay Warm, Safe and Social!
The icy weather comes again during the pandemic. Cold temperatures and snowfall in parts of the country have put a chill on safer, outside gatherings, driving more people indoors. It may be challenging and different from what you are used to. Given the chances of virus transmission, many families are asking whether they should visit each other and celebrate together, especially if they have to travel to do so.
As cases are spiking across the globe, the weather is also growing colder in many parts of the world. People are finding all sorts of ways to connect, celebrate and reflect. Lots of dinners over Zoom, small gatherings outdoors, around fire pits and on porches beneath heated lamps. Everybody is taking the dangers of the pandemic seriously. They are planning to make big sacrifices, at great personal cost, to keep themselves and their communities safe.
But winter doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside. With the right gear, a little planning and practising for the cold temperatures can help you take celebrations outdoors to avoid the virus.
The pandemic is not going away just yet, and as the weather grows colder and the holidays approach, you may have questions about how to keep yourself and others safe this winter. It’s still possible to take all or at least part of your social life and celebrations outdoors — and still stay warm or at least not get too cold.
When the weather outside is frightful, here are some tips on how to stay warm, safe and be able to socialise even when you’re outside.
- Try to keep moving.
Long walks, hiking, outdoor ice skating, cross-country skiing or any activity will give your body’s warming system a boost. During an outdoor visit, most people would get cold after certain minutes but add an activity, and they can last a few hours in cold weather.
- Clothing Matters.
Of course! Clothing matters a lot. It is advised not to use cotton as the base layer in winter weather — it retains moisture, that will make you feel cold. A fleece, merino wool or regular wool for insulation. And lastly, usually, a winter coat, that should repel wind and rain.
Hands and feet also need special attention. Two sock layers can help, but loosen your shoes or buy winter boots a little larger so they don’t fit too tightly and restrict blood flow. For hands, mittens are better than gloves, because they trap more heat.
Don’t forget a hat. If you wrap your body in warm clothes but forget the hat, your body heat can escape through your head.
- Travelling and Transportation
As with every activity, when you travel, you run two risks: getting the virus or infecting others with the virus. When travelling or using public transportation, people should always wear a face mask, especially when they are in public spaces. As much as possible, stay at least six feet away from people not in your household and avoid touching any surfaces.
- Personal Hygiene
The virus is transmitted through contact with infected people, whether or not those people show symptoms. It is primarily spread through the droplets that come out of an infected person’s mouth or nose when they talk, breath, cough, sneeze, laugh, or sing.
- One of the most important parts of being careful is wearing a mask. Please wear a face mask when you are out in public and encourage others to do the same! Face masks are essential to reducing infection rates this winter. Your mask should fully cover your mouth and nose and fit snugly against your face.
- Wearing a face shield is a good practice, too.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol when you don’t have access to soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover coughs and sneezes. Do not remove your mask to cough, sneeze, or talk to others.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even in your home.
- Be as healthy and strong as possible.
It’s a good idea to maintain habits for healthy eating and exercise. As the weather grows colder, it may be harder to exercise outside, however, there are still ways for staying active during the winter.
Remember to take care of your mental health, too. The combination of the pandemic, and the winter can be really challenging for many people.
It’s starting to feel like the virus has been here forever. With no clear end in sight, it can be difficult to keep moving forward. In many ways, the pandemic has presented a unique chance to rethink, reset, and reevaluate what matters in our lives.
Even as the pandemic has interrupted and disrupted our lives, let’s all think about what we can be thankful for, and we’ll build a great future for the year ahead.