Commentary – Have a safe COVID Christmas

Richard Froese

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”
Snow covers the ground. Looking at the calendar, Christmas Day is just four weeks away.
Christmas is a time to share and show charity.
Many people in the community, your neighbours and friends, are less fortunate. They struggle to buy plenty of healthy food for themselves and their families, even during Christmas.
Extend love to people all around you. Give to an organization that will provide Christmas vouchers to aid the needy with food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vouchers will allow the less fortunate to buy food at local stores during the Christmas season.
Christmas can be the most exciting time of the year to spend with family and friends and to share a meal or two and many memories.
Who knows what will be allowed during the 2021 Christmas season with COVID-19 restrictions?
It appears it will be much the same as last Christmas when gatherings were limited to just one household and a couple of other people even as the number of vaccinated people rises.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw warns that a potential fifth wave could emerge with increased indoor gatherings in the upcoming holiday season. She spoke at a news conference Nov. 16 and reminded people to continue to follow current gathering restrictions.
Fully vaccinated people from two households can gather at a private residence with no more than 10 people, while indoor gatherings are not permitted for unvaccinated people.
Most people were probably expecting some kind of reprieve as about 85 per cent of Albertans ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated while almost 90 per cent have one jab.
For anyone who wants to gather and visit, make sure everyone is double vaccinated to reduce and control the risk and spread of COVID-19.
For anyone who wants to visit relatives or friends, please remain cautious and protect yourself and those you visit.
Continue to properly wear masks and practise good hygiene.
Whatever the COVID restrictions are in place over the Christmas holiday season, please comply to make it safe and healthy for everyone who gathers. Anyone who wants to visit a friend or relative in a lodge or care home, please contact authorities to know what is best for the residents.
Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year for seniors, homeless and those with no close family nearby while others enjoy time with family. Even before the pandemic, many of the lonely feel isolated and disconnected from their social network and community.
Extend love and care to people who need it most. People confined in care homes especially value visitors. Seniors love to be with young children and help them bring back good memories of the joys of being a child.
Visit shut-ins and people who can’t get out to enjoy Christmas more. Give a food hamper to a lonely neighbour, single, couple, or family.
Share the gift of love, not just at Christmas time, but all year.
Many unemployed or under-employed are also in need of extra love. Who knows, one day you may struggle and suffer with living and appreciate a time when others reach out and encourage and comfort you.
A community that shares is a community that cares.
Nobody wants another “Scrooge” Christmas with strict COVID restrictions.
People will also be reminded to be cautious and take proper steps to make it safe for themselves and for those they gathering with.
Have a safe and healthy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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