Christmas Traditions

With Christmas break and the holidays approaching, the question that comes to mind for some is: what will COVID numbers look like after the holidays and the new year?

In the midst of our Covid-19 pandemic, we have had Halloween, Thanksgiving and now fast approaching, Christmas and the New Year. To many, the upcoming holidays can only mean one thing: an increase in COVID cases.

For proof of this, we need only look at the last two major holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. ABC news stated that “despite multiple warnings to avoid gatherings, people flouted these recommendations” on Halloween, and locally we saw numbers rise. According to the board of health department, the day after Halloween the cases went from 4.91% to 8.31%. 

After Thanksgiving the number of covid cases spiked so rapidly that in a recent study, more people traveled for Thanksgiving 2020 rather than Thanksgiving 2019. Is that because plane tickets are so cheap? As Mrs. Violette made a comment, ¨cheap flights with a side of COVID.” Following Thanksgiving, Newsweek reported that covid cases were up 20 percent and deaths topped 300,00. But why is that worth it to so many people over their health? 

So will people continue the common trending thread of not following precautions, or will families finally realize that they can make a change and avoiding large gatherings can help stop the spread of covid by doing small, easy things?

I asked seniors Jess Gaskin, Haley Strom and Olivia Etienvre and what they´d come to conclude is that as much as they don´t want it to happen, they predict the rising COVID cases will spike following the holidays. Even though Olivia says, ¨ I hope with the New Year comes the erasing of covid 19¨, there’s a long way to go before that happens.

So what are things we should try to avoid and things we can still do to have a memorable vacation while still being covid safe? 

For many people hanging out with friends and family is so typical, but to start taking some small precautions, hang out with just a few people, maybe the people who you hang out with in school and the ones you´ve been hanging out with. Avoid coming in contact with new people that you haven’t been hanging out with because you don´t know where they’ve been. Avoid large groups, minimize your time in public places like stores or restaurants, do things like family zooms instead of in-person contact, wash your hands frequently, and most importantly, wear a mask everywhere you go.

As much as safety and protocols are everywhere to follow and guidelines to a safe and healthy holiday, people will still continue to not follow the safety guidelines that are put into place by Governor Baker. As much as it will require families to make a lot of changes to their normal traditions, it will have a huge impact on the future Christmas´s and years to come.

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