Monday November 16, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
“I don’t know the answer to that yet,” was Dr Henry’s response to Island Social Trends‘ question today about whether people will need to celebrate Christmas at home with only their household members, or whether family and friends from their safe six can be there too.
“What we’re telling people right now — and this is because of what we’re seeing right now — if you’re in Fraser Health and lower mainland Vancouver Coastal region you need to stick to your household bubble only,” said Dr Henry.
“This is thinking back to where we were in April. Those people who are our close contacts, our close household. We put out some definitions of household… it’s different for different people (as to) who our family is. It may be people were related to, or people we’re close to,” she explained.
If people live alone that could be one or two other people who are in their pandemic bubble.
For some families who have children who live with both parents that may be two families. “Right now, that is the focus,” Dr Henry said.
She continued: “In the rest of the province we’re starting to see increased transmission in our community. There’s an order about this. You need to stick to your safe six. Your household plus that one set of set of six people that your family is connected to.”
“Right now, we need to think about reducing all of our social gatherings. If it’s not necessary to visit, don’t do it right now. Give it a break, let us get the numbers down. And it’s most important in those areas where we’re seeing a lot of community transmission. But this is spreading around our province and we now know that the season makes it easier for this virus to spread. So all of us need to think about no gathering, but supporting our families and our friends in remote ways and ways that are safe,” was Dr Henry’s final word at this point about Christmas 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What was not discussed today are the emotional and social impacts of making those choices among families or friends for the special day or season. The short-term agreement to ‘stay apart to stay safe’ could still in many cases have long-term social-emotional impacts. Who ‘wins’ the family lottery and who doesn’t. Who spends that day alone. The mental health aspects of dealing with COVID overall have been well noted already during the pandemic.
Santa’s got it:
Last week Dr Henry said she’s pretty sure that Santa is immune to COVID-19.
That’s the 2020 version of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” as in reassuring children of all ages about the enduring power of love and hope that is sought and reaffirmed at Christmas time.