Covid expert urges families not to pass gravy boat at Christmas to keep safe

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Grabbing hold of the same gravy boat as the rest of your family is a big Covid no-no this Christmas.

Immunologist Professor Luke O'Neill has created a list of things to avoid doing over the table as relatives get the green light to meet for Christmas.

He says elderly and vulnerable guests should spend most of the time sitting beside an open window for good air flow.

The professor's advice which includes guests bringing their own crockery, is designed to limit the chance of coronavirus spreading from one family member to another.

Revealing his guidance to Claire Byrne on Ireland's national public service media, RTÉ on Wednesday, Prof O'Neill said that children should "hug their grandparents briefly outdoors, while wearing a mask".

The professor of biochemistry at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, said: "Sadly the less time the better", spent with older people in the family who are more at risk.

Another recommended instruction from Prof O'Neill was: "Don't pass the gravy boat."

If people are defiant in enjoying Christmas dinner with friends or family from other households, Prof O'Neill advises on the following:

  • They should bring their own dinnerware
  • Have a single person do all the serving to keep numbers down in the kitchen
  • Stagger people sitting around the table to avoid people sitting opposite each other
  • Have good ventilation
  • Do not to spend too long in each other's company

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"You can't be having ten hours in a stuffy room together playing family games," Prof O'Neill said.

Ahead of Thanksgiving celebrations, the Center of Disease Control told Americans that ventilation was the most important thing to consider before getting comfortable with loved ones.

O'Neill added: "Good ventilation, open the window, have a heater on if you get cold.

"Stick grandpa by the window and have a good breeze blowing through, and this will really decrease the risk, so it is possible to have a Christmas together."

  • Christmas
  • Family
  • Coronavirus

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