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Dr. Oz Shares His 8 Best Tips On How to Celebrate The Holidays Safely

The TV personality spoke exclusively to E! News about the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 ahead of Thanksgiving.

By Tierney Bricker, Taylor Bryant Nov 23, 2020 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Dr. Oz's Big Plans After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Have yourself a healthy little Christmas. 

The 2020 holiday season is going to look very different given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And though we've all been social distancing for over nine months, this will be the first Thanksgiving where your entirely family isn't crammed together at the same table or attending a public Christmas tree lighting.

However, it is still possible to safely celebrate the upcoming holidays with loved ones, according to Dr. Oz. But that doesn't mean there aren't best practices to follow. 

"I do want you having Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other holiday but in a safe way," the health expert and TV host told E! News. "Our duty to our nation and to our family is to enjoy our holiday of importance so we don't get COVID fatigue but do it in a way that is socially responsible, so everyone is protected."

But with so much uncertainty, it can be overwhelming and stressful to try and plan a healthy holiday get-together, from where to host a small gathering or how to safely serve the food. 

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To help answer any questions you may have about the upcoming holiday season, the Dr. Oz Show host shared eight tips and best practices to follow, including how he will be handling his own family celebrations.

Be Aware

The most important tip Dr. Oz shared was knowing how the virus spreads so you can "avoid those pitfalls" during the holiday season.

As he explained, COVID-19 is transmitted through "little droplets of fluid or being aerosolized, which means its flying through the air like a cloud like you just exhaled a puff of a cigarette,"

Who You Should Celebrate With

Dr. Oz is planning to have his immediate family over and, he said, people "who are not vulnerable, so if a couple kid cousins just cousins want to come over and they are outside playing sports or eating, that's fine."

But he will not be inviting any elderly or high-risk relatives over, explaining he doesn't want them "stuck in a small, poorly ventilated room," describing the situation as "a recipe for disaster."

Leading Up to the Holidays

If you are planning on attending a small gathering on Thanksgiving or for a future holiday, in the 10 days leading up to the event, Dr. Oz recommended you "should do your best to make sure you're not doing things that are foolish."

"No mosh pit-diving, no sloppy car pools, make sure you're not putting yourself in harm's way because you may be asymptomatically infecting everybody that you love dearly," he explained. "So if you are behaving yourself for a week-to-10 days you are making [the holiday] a lot safer for everybody."

How to Travel Safely

If you are concerned about traveling, Dr. Oz had some words of wisdom that will help put you at ease: "Don't fret over the airplane itself or whatever vehicle the transportation you are in because they are actually taking care to make sure the air is well-ventilated and you're safe."

But he did caution about being aware of your surroundings before getting on a plane. "Don't slip up by hanging at the pizza parlor while you're waiting on your plane to take off," he advised. "Those are the kinds of subtle seemingly simple things you might mess up on."

Host in the Great Outdoors, If Possible

"If you are outdoors it's a lot safer," Dr. Oz said of any gatherings, going on to share that the risk of transmission is just "five percent" of what it would be if you were indoors.

But if weather doesn't permit that, he recommended people "keep the windows open, the doors open…some ways at keeping the air flying so that smoke doesn't accumulate in a poorly ventilated room and everyone is safer."

He also insists you check your ventilation systems and "more importantly, the filters in your home. Please do it, you're supposed to do it every 3-6 months anyway."

Healthy Foods to Include in Your Meals

An easy way to help boost your immunity is to add ingredients, according to the TV personality, "that have bright colors in them and the reason for that is those bright colors are antioxidants."

Fruits and vegetables, for example, have antioxidants in their skin, with Dr. Oz explaining "when you eat those foods you get those antioxidants in your body, so you are better able to deal with the inflammation that happens if, for example, you get COVID-19."

And a great vegetable to add to your stuffing or use as a side dish are mushrooms, which are "great for your immunoglobulin," and leafy greens are "superbly beneficial," according to Dr. Oz. "They release a gas in your mouth and nose that opens up your airways," he said.

When it comes to food shopping, think of your grocery store as a pharmacy, he advised, with "food you are eating coming out of the ground" as the most optimal.

Keep Your Distance

And keep the guest list to 50 percent capacity. This, he said, ensures "everyone has a couple of feet in between them." Be sure to stay vigilant about maintaining it throughout the event.

When it comes to meal time, all guests "should be far enough away from each other that they are comfortably speaking while eating," he said, noting guests should not be close enough "to get food on the person next to them, that's why the six-feet rule is so important."

Safest Way to Serve Food

One area that could potentially be a cause for concern regarding crowding is the table where the food is served from.

"Have one person serve," Dr. Oz encouraged, "or, if you going to have people serve yourselves, don't all go up at the same time." He continued, "Figure out some funnier way of going up in a staggered manner like age or some competition."

For more advice from the health expert, The Dr. Oz Show airs on weekdays—check your local listings.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov. To plan your vaccine, head to NBC's Plan Your Vaccine site at PlanYourVaccine.com.