By Madison Pena
The holiday season is my favorite time of year — the cheer, food and time spent with friends and family is something that can’t be beaten. Normally, I spend the months of November to December sprint shuttling between get-togethers with my extended family or reconnecting with friends after a busy semester, celebrating birthdays and holidays.
This year is going to be different.
Like every other aspect of life in the past eight months, the pandemic is shifting how we will celebrate holidays this year — which is disappointing, to say the least. However, at the end of the day, this is a sacrifice we have to make.
No ifs, ands or buts about it — we cannot celebrate the holidays like we normally do.
It’s no secret that many are sick of staying six feet apart from friends and family, only being able to meet outdoors for limited amounts of time. And who can blame them?
As frustrating as it is that a mysterious virus can dictate how we go about our lives, just because we are “over it” doesn’t mean it’s really over. The danger is still very present and a threat to everyone’s health, especially older family members with pre-existing health conditions.
In fact, the number of coronavirus cases has been surging across the country as more people decide that they are no longer going to abide by the rules that have been in place for most of the year.
For the safety of our loved ones, this cannot keep happening. Unfortunately, some of the things we hold most dear during the holidays, like getting together with family for holiday dinner or going Black Friday and Christmas shopping at the mall with friends, are now considering risky and unsafe activities.
To be frank, that sucks. There’s nothing that can remedy the fact that many people’s favorite time of year is going to look drastically different.
But this doesn’t mean people should bypass the guidelines and regulations set by the CDC.
Not wanting to adapt your holiday plans is not a valid reason to endanger others by gathering indoors, going out and acting as if there isn’t a major pandemic happening.
The reality is that we have to stay at home for the holidays, just like we’ve been doing since lockdown. While it’s not at all how anyone imagined spending the holidays, we can’t give up being careful.
According to the CDC, the large, indoor and all-night gatherings that usually occur to celebrate the holidays pose a great risk to all attendees. It’s hard to lower exceptions for the holidays, especially after a stressful year when all you want is to finally reunite with family and friends, but doing so would reduce the risk of another wave of Covid-19 and potentially save lives.
Instead of sulking about how the holidays will be different, try to stick to traditions with safe modifications, like setting up an outdoor gathering area if the family wants to stop by while being socially distant.
Watch all of your favorite holiday movies, bake your favorite treats, put on Michael Bublé and get into the holiday spirit. Now more than ever, we could all use the cheer the holiday season provides. So let’s sit back, get comfortable and hope that by next year, things will be looking different.