Prepping for the Holidays in a Pandemic Communities Can Create Cheer, Even in Crisis

The holidays: a time for upholding long-standing traditions, usually involving festive gatherings of family and friends, communal meals, sacred services, gift exchanges, visitors, and, invariably, crowds—until this year, that is. 

The coronavirus is forcing families and communities to reconsider what, how, and with whom they celebrate in ways that have never before been addressed. For festivities that occur in co-ops, condos, and HOAs, those plans will also have to account for new rules and restrictions that associations and corporations have adopted to keep their residents, staff, and visitors as safe as possible as the pandemic heads into another year. 

But in spite of the unprecedented challenges before them, associations and cooperatives are finding ways to imbue the season with spirit and celebration. It just might look a bit different than it has in the past. 

Where the Weather Is Warm

In localities where pleasant temperatures stick around for the holiday season, outdoor festivities offer communities a safer option for gathering than being indoors. Where six-foot separation can be maintained, and provided that masks are worn properly by all attendees when they are not eating or drinking, a small outdoor holiday gathering with people from outside one’s household is considered “moderate risk” by health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (“Lower risk” activities are discussed in the next section.)

Warm-weather locations are also popular holiday destinations for out-of-state visitors, of course, so communities in places like Florida and Nevada must also consider how they are going to handle an influx of guests, revelers, and vacationers when states’ viral counts are surging and regulations for quarantining and COVID testing change frequently. 

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