Holidays and Coronavirus

How did the pandemic affect the holidays, and what can be learned from it?


Olivia Miller

A house decorated for Christmas.

by Olivia Miller, Editor-in-Chief

With the holiday season finally over, students and adults alike are back to facing the reality of the pandemic. The computers have turned back on and the Zoom meetings are long and strenuous. Gone are the days of warming up against the fire while a vintage Christmas movie plays in the background. 

However, there is a different version of the holidays that many people faced. Instead of sitting around a Christmas tree or a cozy fire, they tried to not stare at the empty chair where a grandparent or uncle usually sat, silently  hoping that they would overcome COVID-19. This was the harsh reality of the holidays of 2020. 

Despite the fact that this is the reality that challenged millions of families this past holiday season, many people still chose to ignore CDC guidelines and gathered with distant family members to celebrate the festivities. 

These guidelines include facts and statistics urging families to not travel and stay home these holidays. They also include advice and steps to take if one does decide to travel, which include the following: 

Airlines have taken additional precautions, as required by the Transportation Security Administration. These include lower volumes of passengers on individual flights, and implementing no-contact security checkpoints and checking passengers’ temperatures.

Window of an airplane overlooking clouds. (Olivia Miller)

Many states have also implemented their own travel restrictions, Washington included. Gov. Jay Inslee instituted various guidelines for those visiting different households throughout the holiday season. 

However, despite all of these newly instituted regulations, COVID-19 cases soared throughout the holiday season. 

After a plateau of cases throughout September and early October, cases began to climb. They hit a peak on November 27, 2020, when around 200,000 cases were reported nationwide. However, after a short decline, they began to grow once again, coming to an all new high on January 8, when over 300,000 cases were reported

This almost undoubtedly is a result of increased traveling throughout the holidays

Numbers have gone down in the past weeks, but this was still a warning of what may happen in the future if COVID-19 regulations become lax.