Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityWhat will Christmas look like in COVID-19 world? | WSYX
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What will Christmas look like in COVID-19 world?



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With the Thanksgiving holiday in the past, but potentially scores of new COVID-19 hospitalizations still ahead, Ohioans' focus will now turn to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other traditional celebrations that may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center's Dr. Andy Thomas shared on Monday that those Ohioans who traveled or attended family gatherings for Thanksgiving ought to minimize contact with others, including working from home or taking additional time off. However, with still millions of holiday travelers in the skies and on the ground last weekend, the worry among health officials is that COVID numbers will spike just before the December holidays.

The Ross County Health District and Adena Health's Dr. Kirk Tucker said Monday that Christmastime presents another perfect vector for spreading the virus.

"I believe it's the opinion of some folks, just to 'get it over with,' exposure or not," said Dr. Tucker. "With the holiday and the travel season, people being indoor for winter — and it's snowing outside right now — the probability states it's going to get worse before it gets better."

Furthermore, some political leaders are tacitly encouraging a more "normal" Christmas and a full re-opening of "normal" society, such as Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, who tweeted on Friday: "They tried to cancel Thanksgiving. Didn’t work! They’re coming for Christmas next."

He later tweeted on Monday: "Don’t let Ohio become New York. Re-open the state. No more curfews. No more lockdowns."

Ohio Rep. Jon Cross, a Republican who represents the state's 83rd House District, agreed with Jordan.

"We're all smart enough to know that putting tons of people in your house isn't the best, but we also don't need laws, we don't need to waste legislative time to do that," Cross said Monday. "We don't need the Governor signing mandates to do that."

Ohio Department of Health on Monday said it will wait to issue official guidance for Christmas until the Centers for Disease Control releases its own recommendations. A spokesperson said ODH will continue to encourage Ohioans to "celebrate small."

ODH previously released guidance and suggestions for all the major cultural fall and winter holidays.

On Monday, Dane Melgard and his family drove to Taylor Christmas Tree Farm on Kenny Road to select a tree together as the snow fell.

Melgard said he would strive to keep distance and not hug family members during the holidays, but vowed otherwise to make Christmas as normal as possible.

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"I have family coming up from Texas I haven't seen in years," Melgard said. "You as a family can set up your own guidelines to keep each other safe; I think that's the best way to do it."

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