Doing the Holidays Differently This Year
The coronavirus vaccines have just arrived, but we still must be vigilant and change the way we celebrate the holidays right now.
As I write this, the hospitals in the region where I live have run out of ICU beds, there is talk of rationing medical care and we are experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers due to the skyrocketing rate of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Many other areas of our nation are experiencing these issues as well.
In light of this ongoing public health and humanitarian disaster, it feels inappropriate to say the usual light and bubbly “Happy Holidays” greetings. 2020 is a year most of us want to forget.
But before we move on to 2021, I want to extend my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus. I also want to remember the “long-haulers” who have survived but are continuing to experience symptoms, not to mention the medical expenses that go along with their COVID illness.
For our healthcare readers, I pray you get vaccinated quickly and do what you can to take care of yourselves, despite the fact that most of you are stretched so thin and are working insanely long hours. Our nation is asking way too much of you right now, and I am grateful you are taking care of us. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice!
For our other readers who are taking time off (hopefully by choice), I pray you will be staying home this holiday season and continue to wear facial coverings so that our nation can beat back the coronavirus.
For those who, like me, are lucky enough to not be on the front lines at a hospital right now (or working in a grocery store or being first responders), the pandemic provides us with the opportunity to reflect deeply and reexamine our lives. For many of us, the coronavirus crisis has given us the chance to focus on what’s most important: our families, our friends, our communities, our health and our faith.
I hope you will take this opportunity to appreciate all of the little things we normally take for granted… things like hugs, smiles, eating at our favorite restaurants and gatherings with our family and friends. You might even pine for people or situations that previously annoyed you: obnoxious distant relatives we only see during the holidays, the neighbor who always comes over unannounced, the coworker who spends too much time talking at the office water cooler, crowded malls, the aunt who still pinches our cheeks. I could go on.
Yes, we will be missing those things this holiday season, but we must do our part. If you are a healthcare worker on the front lines or some other essential worker, you know your obligations. For the rest of us, we can practice social distancing and wear a mask.
Our revised approach to the holidays could also involve binge watching those Netflix episodes we’ve missed. It could even mean binge watching or binge reading the many webinars and whitepapers Campus Safety has produced over the past year. For those of you who missed our 2020 Fall/Winter Campus Safety Online Summit (there are 20 sessions), it can now be viewed on-demand for free. Click here.
As dark as the world seems to be right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now we are still in the tunnel, but we can reasonably expect that by the summer of 2021, most Americans will be vaccinated. There is hope!
In the meantime, however, this year’s holidays need to be very different. Please do your part and be safe.
Have a blessed holiday season.