Christmas this Year May Not be so Holly Jolly

Restrictions resulting from Covid-19 limits travel opportunities for the holidays

December 6, 2020

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It will be a lonely Christmas this year since families and friends will have to be separated. However, staying inside will keep people safe and sound.

The Christmas season is where many people travel in order to visit family and friends, hang out at a party or see how certain places decorate for Christmas. 

Glendale High School sophomore Martha Contreras used to travel every year for Christmas to see family and friends. Unfortunately, this year she will have to change plans due to Covid-19. 

“Last year we celebrated in the Philippines. My family held a big feast, sang karaoke, we had Christmas decorations two months early, we watched fireworks and we brought everybody in the family,” Contreras said. “But this year, our plans of going to the Philippines were cancelled because of Covid. My family is still going to have a feast and give presents, but they just won’t be with my family members who live in the Philippines.”

Though it is not recommended by the CDC to travel by air during this pandemic, air traveling does limit what people do in order to celebrate Christmas, making some feel excluded from spending time with family and friends.

Many airlines have an air filtration system where the air is filtered every three minutes and it is all fresh air from outside the aircraft. About 40 percent of the air is filtered and 60 percent is fresh and piped from outside the plane

With the assistance of passengers wearing masks along with social distancing, it is presumed to some that it is safe to travel, but it is unknown if passengers could be infected and not only spread the disease to people in the aircraft, but spread it to a different country. According to the CDC, air travel is still considered unsafe, and the best thing to do is to stay home and protect yourself, family and friends. 

Sophomore Stella Todd agrees that even with social distancing, mask wearing and air filtration, it is still not safe to travel by air. “All it does is lower the risks, but the risks are still there,” Todd said. “I do not see a need to travel especially during this time. Everyone wants to travel, but everyone knows that it’s dangerous and it’s not safe.”  

As a result of major Christmas celebrations being postponed, places being closed down and all the social distancing, Christmas is not going to be the same as past Christmases.

Even old traditions will change as a result of Covid-19, such as the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve which will now be celebrated virtually this year.

Crescenta Valley High School sophomore Jennifer Belisario agrees with her prediction that people aren’t going to be looking forward to Christmas this year. “As for whether I believe people are going to care more this year, I don’t think so,” Belisario said. “Since we’ve been stuck at home for the past couple months, it wouldn’t feel any different.” 

If Thanksgiving travel is any indicator of peoples’ travel plans during Christmas, it is possible that many will not heed the advice of public health officials, and will travel instead during the holidays.

During thanksgiving there was a large amount of traveling during that time, since Thanksgiving is also a time where there tends to be a lot of traveling. 

The CDC agrees that traveling during the pandemic may increase your chances of getting Covid-19 along with spreading the virus. This Thanksgiving season over a million passengers boarded an airplane on Friday, Nov. 20 just to make it in time to visit family and friends.

For those who were planning to travel this season, the CDC encourages the safest choice of celebrating virtually or with the people living in the same room.

Glendale High School sophomore Karissa Miranda does not feel much of a difference spending her Christmas this year compared with last year. “Nothing different is going to happen this year,” Miranda said. “We just won’t be going to church as usual, though I feel like that is the only thing that is going to change. I still plan on celebrating with my family and cousins while still opening presents early.”

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