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Should families get together for the holidays?

The year 2020 has been filled with twists and turns, such as the coronavirus and its resulting mask requirements and social distancing. With the holidays approaching and COVID-19 still on the rise, there is debate as to whether people should visit their families and risk getting exposed or stay home and miss out of the traditional family gatherings.

Travel increases around the holidays as family and friends spend these special times bonding, but this year may be subject to change. With those infected by the coronavirus sometimes being asymptomatic, it is best to be cautious. Staying safe would be the smartest choice this holiday season.

Although airfares and other travel costs have been lower since the pandemic due to fewer people traveling, people shouldn’t take advantage of the low prices just for the sake of traveling when off work and school. A person’s health should come first. According to the Los Angeles Times, coronavirus numbers should be expected to increase during the holiday season. If one does wish to travel to be with family, they should take every precaution possible while exposed to others in close proximity environments such as in airplanes and trains.

Many states have issued mask mandates in social settings, and almost all states have rules in place when it comes to gathering in groups. Mississippi has changed its policy several times. Gatherings were once limited to 20 individuals when indoors and 100 individuals outdoors; however, holiday gatherings could exceed that limit.

Family and friends could be around asymptomatic carriers in their daily or work lives, which could cause them to easily spread infection to loved ones. Even though different members of the family may wear their mask, that is not enough to protect everyone. Gathering could lead to a train of coronavirus carriers. Those with weaker immune systems, such as the elderly and infants, should be kept home for the holidays to ensure they are safe. 

Many should sit this holiday season out to protect themselves and others’ health. Families should understand if no one wants to gather because of the circumstances. On another note, the family members that have been around each other regularly should feel free to gather for the holidays but should still gather using precautions.  

by Ashanti Brown

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