NewsCelebrate Christmas safely despite Corona: How to protect yourself...

Celebrate Christmas safely despite Corona: How to protect yourself from infection

Do you want to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones despite Corona? With these five tips, you’ll make it a safe feast for the whole family.

Frankfurt – Christmas is family time. Everyone is sitting comfortably together, there is good food and presents are being unwrapped. But because of Corona, the festival cannot be celebrated as carefree this year as it was before the pandemic. Germany is fighting in the fourth wave with high numbers of corona cases and the appearance of the omicron variant. Is it even possible to have a relatively normal Christmas party? To break chains of infection and avoid new infections, you can take measures before the holidays.

Bringing the whole family together at Christmas is not easy due to the corona pandemic in 2021, especially when children meet grandparents. The grandma may already be fully vaccinated, but the grandchild is not. The incidence of infections in children is on average twice as high in winter 2021 as last year, reported the Tagesschau. In children, a corona infection is also often symptom-free. So it can happen that neither children nor parents notice anything. When the grandchildren meet their grandparents at Christmas, it can be dangerous.

Celebrating Christmas despite Corona: This is how families can prepare

Corona vaccinations generally offer good and important protection against infections and severe courses, but there is no one hundred percent protection with vaccines. Especially people with a weak immune system or previous illnesses should therefore continue to be careful and protected. According to the Tagesschau, the death rate among the generation of grandparents is highest despite vaccination. You cannot completely rule out the possibility of currently infecting your grandparents, yourself or other family members – but if you pay attention to a few things, you can make the festival as safe as possible.

Weihnachten mit der Familie feiern und das trotz Corona? Es gibt einiges, was Sie für Ihren Schutz vor einer Infektion tun können. (Symbolbild)


Celebrating Christmas with the family and that despite Corona? There are several things you can do to protect yourself from infection. (Symbol photo)

The best remedy remains the vaccination against corona. Fully vaccinated people have a far lower risk of getting infected and becoming seriously ill. But the vaccination protection decreases over time. As a tip, if you had your second vaccination more than five months ago, you should pick up the so-called “booster”, i.e. the third vaccination against Corona. This is especially important for older people with a weaker immune system. But even with younger people, the protection is refreshed again.

Which corona rules should be observed at Christmas?

It also makes sense to reduce contacts a few weeks before Christmas or to isolate yourself completely for a few days. If you meet fewer people, you reduce the general risk of corona infection. In particular, indoor events should be avoided. The President of the Society for Aerosol Research, Christof Asbach, spoke in the debate about the Christmas market closings due to the high number of corona cases that the “risk of infection is significantly increased” if people do not meet outside, but rather “in their private environment indoors” .

The next tip to reduce the risk of infection is a daily rapid corona test for all participants on the Christmas holidays. Reason for the daily repeated tests? At the beginning of an infection, there is an increased chance that rapid antigen tests will turn out to be false-negative, explains virologist Daniela Huzly from the Freiburg University Hospital. “The day after, they are sometimes positive,” she continues. This is what the editorial network Germany reports.

Heinz-Wilhelm Esser, Head of Pneumology at the Remscheid Clinic, recommends rapid tests as well as general hygiene rules and vaccinations. “I would always recommend an additional rapid test to complete the process,” he told the WDR.

The more reliable variant would be the PCR test, in which an infection can be determined much more precisely. However, they are not cheap (30 to 200 euros) and it can take up to 24 hours to get the result.

With these five tips you can reduce the risk of corona infection at Christmas:

  • 1. Reduce contacts even before the holidays
  • 2. Daily rapid corona tests for all participants
  • 3. Comply with basic hygiene rules (keep your distance, observe hand hygiene, wear a mask, ventilate rooms regularly)
  • 4. Pick up the booster vaccination
  • 5. PCR test as an alternative to the rapid test or for a single visit to high-risk patients

Christmas despite Corona: which measures will make the festival as safe as possible

The following tip applies: Even if it might look strange to sit by the Christmas tree and wear mouth and nose protection – wearing a mask has been proven to protect against infections and is therefore also a way of making Christmas with the family as safe as possible. A study found that FFP2 masks offer extremely high protection against corona infection even after prolonged contact indoors, reports the German press agency.

If an infected and a healthy person meet in a room at a short distance, the risk of infection is around one per thousand (0.1 percent) even after 20 minutes. The prerequisite is the correct fit of the FFP2 or KN95 mask, writes the team around Eberhard Bodenschatz from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen in the “Proceedings” of the US National Academy of Sciences (“PNAS”). In the case of poorly fitting FFP2 masks, the risk of infection is around four percent in the same scenario. Surgical masks with a good fit reduce the risk of infection to a maximum of ten percent.

Celebrating Christmas with the family despite Corona: communication as an important measure

But with all the precautionary measures, debates can quickly arise. Some are particularly cautious, while others are far more relaxed. In order to avoid stress and a bad mood at Christmas, it is therefore advisable to consult in advance. The following applies to this tip: “The one who is the most cautious has to determine the rules,” explains the Berlin psychotherapist Wolfgang Krüger to This could be the grandparents, but also children who may be worried.

If you are still unsure, you can also plan a digital Christmas, as recommended by Techniker Krankenkasse. For example with a video call. So you are still together in a way, even if you stay spatially separated. (svw / jey with dpa)

List of rubric lists: © Imago

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