COVID and How to Stay Safe During the Holiday Season


A mask hanging on a Christmas tree like an ornament to show the way the holidays have shifted this year in that COVID feels all encompassing. (Bella Rock)

Bella Rock, Social Media Editor

When we’re younger, the holidays feel like a magical time, an oasis of bliss. We would spend our days drinking hot chocolate and going sledding, allowing our problems to melt away, like the snow on our backs as we sit by a crackling fire.

However, as we get older, this mirage begins to crack. Often we find ourselves saddened at how the holidays feel “different” or “no longer the same” as they did when we were younger. With every winter comes a wave of nostalgia for the holidays we used to have. The holidays we had before deadlines, nine hour shifts, and mental health struggles moved in like a hovering dark cloud. The holidays we had when we were oblivious to hardships circling around us.

COVID only adds to this feeling, this yearning for the way things were. On top of growing up, a lot of holiday traditions revolve around gatherings and socialization, which unfortunately can’t happen this year.

The CDC, Center for Disease Control, recommends celebrating virtually with loved ones or keeping gatherings to those in your household. Traveling to see family members poses many risks. Buses and airplanes are tightly compacted spaces making it easy for the virus to spread. 

As for gatherings of people that do not reside with you, the CDC’s advisories vary situation to situation. “CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear masks, wash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.” This can make it tricky to navigate; however, one could talk to their local health advisors to see what is recommended for the situation. 

While COVID may make the holidays seem gloomy, there are still many great and safe activities one can partake in this December. One could have a holiday movie marathon with family or over Netflix Party with friends. Holiday movies are often lighthearted movies which makes them great for taking your mind off of the current state of the world. There’s also other fun winter activities that can be done from home, such as setting up decorations, i.e. lights, trees, menorahs, etc. Making holiday treats, such as hot chocolate or Christmas cookies, is another great way to increase holiday spirits safely. 

There are also many great local opportunities. Boise has its very own drive-in light show, Christmas in Color, at Expo Idaho. Christmas in Color allows visitors to drive through a light display while remaining in their car the entire time. This way exposure is limited. Or, one could even simply drive around looking for Christmas lights and holiday decorations. There are countless unique and dazzling displays throughout Boise. 

There are many great ways to enjoy the holiday season and be safe, even though it may seem dire.