To the Editor:
As we are decorating for the holidays, baking cookies and wrapping gifts, we are faced with the ever–present reminders that more and more people are contracting COVID-19 in our communities and around the world. We are all at risk of illness, and we are all at risk of losing loved ones.
As winter approaches, with people spending more time indoors and COVID-19 cases spreading, it is more important than ever to find safe ways to celebrate, stay healthy and keep our loved ones safe.
We can still have meaningful celebrations this year, even as we modify our usual plans in order to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19. During Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or your celebration of choice, Healthy Acadia encourages you to honor precaution over tradition to keep your loved ones and our communities safe. Stay home if you can; stay with your pod; wear masks, distance and wash hands when you are out; if you connect with friends or extended family, try to meet outdoors or remotely. If we can all do this, there is a much greater chance that we will all be able to joyfully and healthfully celebrate with all of our loved ones next holiday season.
Georgie Kendall, a Healthy Acadia community health coordinator in Washington County, shared this thoughtful way she honors her father, “Every year since I was a child, all my Dad ever wanted for Christmas was a letter from me. When we lived apart, he always loved hearing about my hopes, dreams and trials.” Although she lives near him now, she will revive that tradition this year to keep her dad, herself and her community safe.
Whether your family and friends decide to do holiday nature hikes, take pictures and send them to each other, remote movie parties, Zoom holiday parties, Zoom Santa surprises, or secret Santa presents dropped off on each other’s stoops, there are so many ways to create safe and meaningful holidays.
What are you doing to help your family stay healthy this holiday season? We at Healthy Acadia want to hear from you! Share your favorite photo(s) and/or comments of how you are celebrating the holidays safely this year. Find Healthy Acadia on Facebook (@healthyacadia) or Instagram (@healthyacadiame) to share directly in the comments of our “Share Joy, Share Health” posts, or tag us in your own posts and include the hashtag, #ShareJoyShareHealth. However you share your safe holiday activities, you will be entered to win one of 10 gift cards to a local business. Feel free to contact me for more information or with any questions at [email protected].
Wishing you all great joy and health this season,