There’s no place like home for the holidays

Claire Gorey, Opinion Editor

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been strange and anything but fair, and the upcoming holidays will be no different. With COVID cases continuously climbing, I am urging you and your family: Stay home this year. 


An estimated 1.2 million Americans traveled on planes for Thanksgiving this year, and because of that, we have had our deadliest day since COVID lockdown started in March. We don’t know much about COVID, but we do know that it spreads faster when large groups of people get together and do not social distance. Spikes after Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving are all examples of this, and the winter holidays won’t be any different if people continue to travel and celebrate with others outside their immediate household. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), celebrating the holidays in the safest way possible is spending the day only with the people you live with. 


Now don’t get me wrong, I would do anything to see my extended family in person this year instead of over Zoom like our Thanksgiving. But risking all of our lives is not worth it. Let’s have empty chairs at the dinner table this year, so they won’t be vacant for all the years ahead. Let’s use these empty chairs as a reminder of all the families who have lost people due to COVID, who will never celebrate the holidays with their loved ones again. 


News of the vaccine distribution gives me so much hope for the future, but we are not there yet. It will take time and we should agree to put in the hard work now, which means staying home this holiday season so we can get back to ‘normal’ sometime in the new year. I would really love to be able to graduate this year with a normal ceremony and to go back to school before that, but it won’t happen unless there’s a nationwide effort to stay home when possible. That means now. We all have given up so much this year and our efforts won’t go unnoticed. But let’s continue to work together to decrease our COVID numbers so we can hope for a realm of normalcy early in 2021 with the goal of getting to in-person learning, school events, and graduation.   


If you do choose to celebrate the holidays with other people, remember these important guidelines:

Always wear a mask

Maintain at least 6 feet distance

Avoid indoor celebrations

Limit the number of people 

Decrease the amount of time spent at the gathering

Fresh air is the best air, so try to be outside 

Cancel the potluck this year and BYOFD (bring your own food and drinks)


Scientists believe COVID will get worse before it gets better, and we seem to be in the worst of it. So please, join me in staying home this year. Because staying home saves lives.