Virtual celebrations offer safer celebration

‘Stay home, wear a mask.’ Americans have been hearing these things since the pandemic started. With COVID-19 cases rising and the holidays right around the corner, state officials are asking people to skip in-person gatherings.

Cases are rising as people become lax with social distancing amid the holiday season. Tier three mitigations were put in place in Illinois in mid-November after a large surge in cases.

For most people, the holidays are a time to be with family and celebrate. This year, many families are forgoing in-person gatherings.
Students have expressed their own concerns over virtual holiday gatherings.

“I think they kind of suck because no matter anyone’s schedule, we all try to meet up and have a good time. Not being able to do that was sad,” Estrella Jiminez-Rodriguez, a student at JJC, said.

State officials have warned the course of the pandemic relies heavily on what happens in the coming weeks.

“I think it’s great! Being that almost all of our family isn’t in Illinois, we’ve had to rely on the internet to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, etc.,” Stefany Moreno, a JJC student, said.

With the pandemic possibly hitting another surge, concerns over mingling with different households is a major concern.

“This might be new for some families that are so used to getting together, but we have to take accountability and responsibility and just celebrate virtually,” Moreno said.

As someone who has several family members that are high-risk, virtual holidays are becoming a new reality in my household. It isn’t the same as previous years, but it’s what has to be done.

Even with social distancing in place, there is no guarantee that the virus won’t spread. People can be asymptomatic and easily spread the virus.

While people might want to celebrate the holidays with their families, doing so will set the country back in fighting the virus.

So stay safe this holiday season and celebrate virtually. It will make being able to celebrate in person in future years much more meaningful.