Thursday, December 24, 2020

CoViD-19 Christmas: "Stay Home. Don't Travel. But if you do..." | The Mistakes of Thanksgiving | The Mixed Messages of Christmas |

 A Family Christmas While Dad Was In The Hospital (Taken 12.25.2014)

Christmas is tomorrow and everyone has obviously made their own pro/con list about how to celebrate the holidays. And it is so hard. There are so many mixed messages. There are stay-at-home orders and restrictions and mask requirements and unenforceable quarantine guidelines. We know we should stay home, but we create our own loopholes. Every news story and politician and health expert sounds the same. "Stay home. Don't travel. But if you do..."
It's easy for me to say that no way I would get on a plane or a train or even public transportation during this pandemic. Like I might feel safe in a plane, but not in the airport. I might feel safer on a roadtrip, but I don't think public bathrooms are safe. During the pandemic, I haven't even allowed us to be anywhere away from our house long enough that we would have to use public bathrooms. Even with back and forth restrictions and some loosening over the summer, me and Darren haven't worked, we haven't been to any restaurants besides grabbing takeout about a dozen times between the same four spots, and my last time at the Casbah was March 13. 

Maybe it's over the top. Maybe it's not enough. 

But my family lives 10 minutes away, and I've definitely had my share of distanced/masked/mostly outside visits with them. 

Still, I follow the data. I know that the virus is everywhere. I know that people are openly defying stay-at-home orders. The news showed a grocery worker practically in tears because people are going and getting tested across the street and then coming into her store for groceries. She rightfully believes that if you think you need to be tested, you should be quarantining if nothing else, at least until you get your results. And then there are people who are going out or working when they actually have symptoms and it's astounding.

But we're still doing Christmas with my parents. I'll tell you why, after the jump.

I have spent the last 9 months or so following and sharing data. Personally, we've run out a couple times for pet food and Costco since this month started but nothing else. In fact, Darren ran across the street to Pancho Villa on Sunday and we vowed not to go anywhere until Christmas. But today I had the itch. I was up at 6am and by the time I showered, I looked up Vons on Google which has that cool little tool for "Popular Times" which shows you live traffic based on phone pings. Vons had this deal that was only available yesterday and today, so I took my chances, grabbed my goggles and my double masks and headed over and got my deal. But of course, grocery stores are there to make money. It was my first time at Vons this entire pandemic, so it felt like *everything* was on sale. Going off my list, I filled my cart as quickly as possible, grabbing a few extras, and by the time I was ready to checkout the traffic had picked up a little and the line was a little extra, but I got outta there as quickly as possible, came home and unloaded, washed my hands extensively, and got right back into my pajamas. 

All this to say, yes, we're doing Christmas with my family. It will be different. We'll take some empty food serving dishes and Tupperware and bring food home with us. We'll be outside most of the time, though my dad is stationary and can't go outside, so we'll take over the dinner table, which is about 12 feet from him, while we have a short catch up with him. We will be in masks and goggles for the duration. If there are gifts to exchange, we'll do so quickly. There won't be any hugs or kisses or group photos or all crowding onto the couch and snuggling while we watch Christmas movies or Judge Judy as in years past. It will be different. But we're in San Diego. We don't have blizzards and nor'easters and Christmas rainstorms. You have to decide for you, but some info and reading while you consider your own circumstances and some lessons that might lean you one way or another, all I can say is that you can't let your guard down if you do mix households. 

"Avoid large gatherings with people outside your family." - Supervisor Cox
Even if you tested recently and think you're okay, or you have a safe plan...getting together for the holidays is simply too risky. 
Holiday Celebrations Could Crush ICU Capacity. If you’re planning a gathering during the upcoming holidays, County health officials say you should cancel it. - County News Center (12.22.2020)

Pandemic Explanation & Why The Shutdowns?  (via It's Okay To Be Smart from March)

As A Doctor, I Plead With You To Cancel Your Holiday Plans - HuffPost (12.21.2020)

How to support hospitals and health care workers this holiday season The pandemic is at its worst, but there are still opportunities to show appreciation for those on the frontlines of of health care delivery - JHU (12.18.2020) 

You can even check out the CDC's contradictory messaging:

To further illustrate some mixed messaging:

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