Advice for hosting holiday gatherings during the pandemic

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Thanksgiving is this week and everyone wants to be with their loved ones. But as New Mexico sees a surge in cases, how do you put your mind and guests at ease?

This time last year, New Mexicans put their celebrations on hold. Cases are rising once more, but this time vaccinations have entered the mix.

"First of all, it’s wonderful that we’re not talking about virtual gatherings, we can actually meet in person. I think that’s a huge step thanks to the vaccine, however, if you’re the person hosting, there are several things you have to consider,” said Rita Chalamidas, local etiquette expert.

Chalamidas said asking guests their vaccination status isn’t a faux pas – hosts can even go a few steps further when inviting people into their home.

"Maybe consider asking them to wear a mask, or maybe do a rapid test right before you intend to gather,” Chalamidas said.

She said you have to consider all guests, are they vulnerable? Who is coming from high community spread areas?

“I think this is the new norm. I think we’re going to have to live with COVID, that’s sort of where we’re headed and I think these conversations are more prevalent, more accepted, more tolerated.”

Other things to keep in mind: she said bring a gift if you’re a guest, stay away from certain topics like politics and religion, and read the room on knowing when it’s time to leave – don’t linger.