Follow us for updates
© 2021
Read the Story →

How to Stay COVID-Safe When Giving, Receiving Christmas Gifts

Hand hygiene is key.
by Arianne Merez
Nov 24, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

As much as it is a family affair, Christmas is also a season for giving gifts. And with the persistent threat of COVID-19, one question that comes to mind is: how to safely give gifts during the pandemic?

Filipinos should first keep in mind that the virus is mainly transmitted through droplets and aerosols, and not through objects such as gifts, said Dr. Anna Ong-Lim, former president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines.

"The way that the virus gets into your system is not through the object but through your hands. The reminder really is to be very aware of our hand hygiene," Ong-Lim told reportr.


How Festive Filipinos are Saving Christmas from Coronavirus

Why COVID Can't Cancel Paskong Pinoy, the World's Longest Christmas

Is there a thing such as "safe gifts" to give during the pandemic? Dr. Ong-Lim said what's more important is the manner by which one gives and receives presents.

Continue reading below ↓

When giving or receiving gifts, it's important to ensure that one's hands are clean before touching the mouth, nose, and face to avoid catching the virus.

"Any time you touch your mouth, your face, your nose, you want to be able to say that 'my hands are clean.' So wherever that came from, whether handing a gift, I wouldn't touch my face, my nose, my mouth without washing my hands first or using alcohol," Ong-Lim said.

How does one safely hand over a present? By still observing the minimum health standards, Dr. Ong-Lim explained, noting that people can opt to drop off presents instead of personally handing them out.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

"Puwede mo naman siguro idaan, puwede naman kayo mag-usap preferably in an outdoor setting para mas maganda ang ventilation at may physical distancing," she said.

And while gift-giving has long been part of the Filipino Christmas tradition, Dr. Ong-Lim said doing so or deciding not to during the COVID-19 pandemic is a personal decision.

Continue reading below ↓

"In the end, you have to ask yourself if the activity is essential for you, and if you can risk catching COVID-19 because of it," she said.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
For the first time in 19 months.
The senator committed no violation, his spokesperson said.
Senate corruption probe keeps going.
The greed of big tech leaders is doing us enormous damage.
The contracts were 'grossly disadvantageous' to the government.
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.