OPINION: A lonely holiday now, a better one next year

A reminder to remain safe this quarantine Christmas

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There’s no place like home for the holidays, and that’s exactly where you should stay this year. 2020 has been a long stretch of social isolation, and the further into the year we go, the further we slacken in our efforts to assure each other’s health and safety.

Some people have been neglecting social distancing or forgetting to sanitize shared objects. These oversights are easy to make, and people are not alone in this small failure. I’ve certainly forgotten to exercise caution myself, and to deny that would be hypocritical. It’s likely because the longer that we continue masking up, staying six feet apart and keeping at home, the less we think of the times when we aren’t doing those things. The same way that when a student forgets an assignment, they often find comfort in thinking it’s just one out of many, and that it won’t matter in the long run. But, unlike homework, all it takes is one accidental exposure to harm you.

It’s fair to think that after being so good this year, that we deserve to relax and socialize, that dinner with family can’t hurt or that a get-together with friends isn’t a big deal. But, the truth, is if you’re not careful even during small events, you could be endangering yourself and others around you even further.

When considering how little so little interaction between people create an exposure, it’s honestly baffling to consider that some people will gather so freely at a time like this. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being within six feet of carrie, up to 48 hours before they become symptomatic, results in an official exposure. Attending parties with large numbers of people, while forgoing masks, is an act of willful ignorance. 

There’s no way to trace who was with who, nor for how long, meaning everyone involved is a risk until tested negative. People have spread around illnesses and gotten sick during large social activities even in the years before the pandemic. I cannot see how someone could justify thinking no one would get sick.

It’s okay to want to see your loved ones this holiday season- we miss each other. However, if you are going to see them, you have to be responsible and take every step you can. So mask up around your vulnerable family members. Try to forgo affections that invade personal space such as hugs and kisses, and keep the number of people you come into contact minimal.

Lastly, video chatting online in place of a physical visit is a far better substitute than most realize. Honestly, it can be disheartening. The most important thing to keep in mind this year is that you would like to see all of your friends and family in-person next year. If we don’t take our safety seriously now, we’ll either be all alone next year due to further quarantining, or be forced to face the even scarier possibility of our loved ones not being alive to visit at all.