Guest opinion: Keep yourself — and loved ones — safe this holiday season
We are living in such unprecedented times. We have endured lockdowns, time away from our friends and loved ones, mask mandates, trip cancellations, wedding cancellations and changes to our daily lives that we never would have predicted only a short time ago.
We have watched COVID-19 travel through the world like a wildfire on a windy day. Sparking fires from the largest cities in the world to the smallest rural communities.
I know for many of us the holiday season is usually a blur of activities ranging from fun-filled nights with friends, to less-than-exciting office parties, but this year will be different than most. We need to understand that having a different kind of holiday this year is OK.
Many of will do our best to stop the spread of COVID-19 by quietly and gracefully bowing out of family functions, dinner with friends and fun get-togethers. While others will blatantly disregard the pleas of the CDC to celebrate with only members of your own household. (The CDC defines any person living outside of your home as being in a separate household.)
I want people to know that those of us making the brave decision to isolate and skip holiday festivities are heroes. We have made the tough decision and braved the sometimes-harsh backlash from family members, so that we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep the people we love safe and healthy.
Every person that makes the sacrifice to skip the traditional mixed household celebrations this year is doing so out of love and compassion, not only for their family but for the entire community. Please understand that it’s not personal … it’s COVID-19. It’s a worldwide pandemic.
Our state has grappled with this horrible virus for so long. We have seen our intensive care unit occupancy rates soar across the state. We have witnessed friends, family and loved ones fall ill or, even worse, die from COVID-19. All because we still have people who are not willing to isolate, wear masks and social distance. There are people who are out shopping at malls, getting their hair done and enjoying meals indoors with people outside of their household. I beg and plead with you to stop and show respect not only for yourself but for everyone else who has sacrificed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
I hope that this holiday season you and your family choose to be a hero. Celebrate your love and gratitude via a FaceTime call. Catch up and sing carols with old friends via Zoom. Remember if you truly love the people around you, show them you care by helping stop the spread of COVID-19.
I think it is more important than ever this holiday season to show gratitude for not only the blessings in your life but the generosity and the unwavering commitment from all of our essential workers who have worked tirelessly during the past 10 months to keep us safe. To all of the doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, postal workers and every other person who has risked their life to serve the public through this onerous time, we thank you! Your selflessness is an act of love.
Show respect for yourself and your community by celebrating the holidays with only members of your household. If we stand together against COVID-19 we have the power to stop the spread and save lives.
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