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Expert offers tips on how El Pasoans can say ‘no’ to holiday gatherings to reduce virus spread

Family and friends gather for a Thanksgiving meal.

EL PASO, Texas -- The holidays are here and normally marks a time to celebrate by gathering with family and friends.

However, this year is different for many because of Covid-19, with health experts strongly recommending that dinners and parties be avoided.

Emma Schwartz, the president of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, offers these tips below for El Pasoans on how to say "no" to gathering for holiday events...

  • Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings. Recognize why they want to celebrate together but reassure them that this is only temporary. Remind them that by avoiding holiday gatherings now, we can help ensure more holiday celebrations in the future.
  • In this case, don’t “Just say no.” Instead, ask your loved ones if they’d be open to safer ways to celebrate like a virtual gatherings, sending letters and cards as a way to celebrate while staying apart.
  • Give yourself a break. It’s okay to be sad or upset about the things we have to do to keep ourselves and loved ones safe. This situation is far from normal. Communicating honestly, acting respectfully not being judgmental and treating each other with patience are all great ways to reduce the risk, for you and for me.
  • Having a conversation with your loved ones about not gathering as usual during the holidays will be difficult but avoiding in-person gatherings remains an important strategy in slowing the spread of Covid-19 among households. Simple actions toward prevention, will not only help dedicated healthcare workers, but it will also show that you care for your loved one’s health and safety.

Schwartz, who is also a member of El Paso United Covid-19 Transition Task Force, says additional information on steps to take for reducing the risk of spreading Covid-19 can be found online at

Article Topic Follows: Health

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