Arely Ocampo Bartolo
With COVID-19 numbers at their highest point ever, it’s safe to say many of us won’t be spending the holidays with our family.
On Friday, March 13, the Los Angeles Unified School district closed school facilities originally for two weeks—and now that has extended all the way to now.
As a result of COVID-19, families will continue to be apart for the holidays. However, this probably wouldn’t have been the case if people listened to the “Stay At Home Order” instead of going out to parties in the first place.
About a week ago, the Centers for Disease Control released even more guidelines about travel. They state that numbers are rising again and many more people have died. Due to this, travel has been heavily discouraged for the holidays, making it a holiday season to remember.
For many people, including those in my family, we have been staying at home as much as possible and canceling plans to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. However, other people have been doing the opposite and are partying, traveling, and not wearing masks in public as is advised by health officials and agencies.
Because of people like this, my family won’t be able to meet for the holidays. Some members of my distant family haven’t missed the holidays together in over 17 years for the holidays. But of course, all the people who have been ignoring the ‘Stay at Home Order’ will be with all of their family, and those who are being safe and quarantining are going to have to spend the holidays with only those in their immediate family.
Because of others’ irresponsibility, I won’t be able to continue the tradition of going ice skating with my older sister, then stopping at Starbucks to buy a hot chocolate (even though we both prefer coffee), just to come home to a house that’s about 10 degrees above freezing to watch Christmas movies.
We know that COVID-19 spikes during the holidays because we’ve seen it through holidays such as Thanksgiving and Halloween. After those holidays the number of cases spike again, and that’s scary because these holidays could be considered “smaller” in comparison to Christmas.
Now imagine the spike after the holidays because irresponsible people chose to not stay home and stay safe. At the time of writing the US alone has over 15 MILLION cases which could easily turn into 16 million after this holiday season.
Some may choose to forgo the health guidelines due to the virus’ high survival rate and slight impact on young people. But guess what? Despite these facts, it’s still incredibly irresponsible. Just because COVID-19 won’t affect me that badly doesn’t mean that it won’t affect others much worse.
At the end of the day, I think everyone has come to the realization that COVID-19 is not a game. The figures and graphs you see growing on the news and on social media every day aren’t just numbers; they’re people who are currently sick or who have passed away because of those who choose to be irresponsible.
Plus even the “small side effects” could leave a huge impact on people. There are people who got COVID-19 in April who still haven’t regained their sense of smell or taste. So before you travel or go out this holiday season, please realize that people’s lives are at stake.
Just realize what and who you’re putting at risk by going out this year. Don’t make this holiday season your last. Stay home with your immediate family, and if you do have to travel or go out, please stay as safe as possible and wear a mask!