Reindeer mask
Like the reindeer, wear a mask. Image: Bridget Coady/Fulcrum.
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Christmas is wonderful, but there’s still a pandemic

For those celebrating Christmas, it can be a beautiful holiday. There are plenty of different ways to spend the winter holidays and traditions that families look forward to every year. Unfortunately, this year is going to look a little different. Well, at least it should. 

Sorry, but COVID-19 does not care about the holidays. 

Ontario has been reporting over 1,000 cases a day for a while now, breaking records from the first wave earlier this year. While it can be difficult to see the damage of COVID-19 if it does not directly affect you, it is still happening, and people need to continue respecting the rules put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

In recent weeks, it seems that people have forgotten these rules, or just gotten tired of them. Rather than keeping social distancing in mind while shopping, malls are flooded with people lined up next to one another as they wait to enter stores, or walking shoulder to shoulder throughout the hallways. Has holiday shopping overshadowed the need to protect ourselves from a viral disease? It sure seems like it. 

Having a huge meal and catching up with relatives is a great part of the holidays, but keeping to your respective social bubble is still necessary. I can promise you that COVID-19 doesn’t make a good dinner guest, and you don’t want to receive phone calls about your sweet old grandma or weird uncle showing symptoms a few weeks afterwards.

I know it sucks, and I hate to bring down such a cheerful time of the year, but it is everyone’s responsibility to follow safety guidelines at all times. For students, winter break is a time to return home and catch up with friends and family. It’s a much needed break from school, and for some, a little mental health reset. 

Luckily, there are still ways to celebrate the holidays even if things are going to have to be significantly less glamorous and more toned down. You can still send gifts or bake as long as you wash your hands and keep exchanges short, socially distanced, and with masks on. Of course, virtual gatherings are an option, and you can even plan an online gift opening session that way. 

Christmas is not where it ends. I know we’re all excited to see the end of 2020 and celebrate the new year. However, the wild New Years Eve parties are going to have to be put on hold too. Catching a case of COVID-19 on the first day of 2021 would not be a good omen for the year. 

While there is still hope that we can slow the spread in the next month, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like a regular holiday season is going to be possible for 2020. Please keep your plans within the rules and regulations of COVID-19 so we won’t have to worry about what we can and can’t do safely when the 2021 holiday season rolls around. 

It should be obvious now, do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season.