Family Members Consider Risks of Holiday Gatherings


On holidays that are the size of Christmas, many families often host gatherings with their relatives and close friends.

Some believe that staying home is the best course of action due to COVID, especially around the holidays when everybody gathers for celebration, while others believe that it is more important to experience the company of others during these trying times.

These relatives often live out of state and occasionally, out of country, which has caused concern for the spread of illness. The primary worry is COVID, with other illnesses such as; Influenza (the flu), the stomach bug, pneumonia, and the common cold being particularly active this time of year as well.

These illnesses worry families, as many do not want their older family members or children getting sick. So instead of attending family gatherings- where they might only see certain family members once a year- they stay home and spend their Christmas lonely.

Pam Ware was particularly upset about this, saying that she greatly missed her brother, who lives in Arizona.

“He normally can’t come in for the holidays, but when he can, my family and I get all kinds of excited. We all love my brother, he’s goofy and funny, and always has fun with the family. Last year we were excited for him to come in, but he couldn’t because of COVID.” Ware said the whole family was upset, but wanted him to stay home because they didn’t want to risk him getting sick.

“I told him to just stay home. Our mother and the children weren’t happy, but we would rather have him healthy and safe than have him sick.”

Another big family man, Henry Douglas, said that he was excited to see his niece after quite a long time.

“She’d just recently had a baby, about 6 months ago now, and I was excited to meet him.”

Despite this, he voiced concerns about the safety of traveling.

“I do miss her, and I love her husband, he’s a good guy. I was happy to meet their son, he was full of laughter.” He laughed, “But I was worried about their health. All of them. I didn’t want them to get sick just to come to a once-a-year dinner.”

On the other hand, his niece, Nicole Gladman, was happy that she was able to see her family.

“I know that traveling is dangerous… but I miss my family and my childhood friends. I haven’t really got to see them much recently, having moved to North Dakota…, and with Brooks in our lives now, I just wanted us all to be together.”

She nodded, “We were safe on our way here, and I made sure Brooks had a mask on in every store we went to… Us too. I made sure that we went to places with fewer people and such, I didn’t want to risk getting sick and make the long journey back home without seeing the fam.”