As of writing this post, the UK government has permitted that Christmas is only to be celebrated with up to 3 households- with no ability to mix outside of this bubble of homes. Now considering I have 6 siblings, too many cousins to count, and lots of other family members in about 10+ households, this news absolutely sucks for me.
On the one hand, I feel that with the number of Covid cases rising (higher than our first lockdown), that we should just be sticking with our own households, and we cancel/postpone Christmas. On the other hand, I would love to have the chance to spend proper time with my loved ones, without feeling like I have to choose who I can and can’t see. This year has taken enough from us, without also potentially taking away the most jolly time for many families.
Although I am not religious, I celebrate Christmas for the fact that I can relax, give presents, and forget about the craziness that is work and life responsibilities- even for a few days. I have fond memories of this time of the year, from going to Centre Parcs as a big family for a long weekend once, to the Christmas dinners where I gain about 6 pounds everytime, to meeting my youngest brother who was born on Christmas Eve. Even just being present with my family in the living room, watching Christmas movies brings warmth to my heart.
With the reminiscing happening, alongside everything that’s going on with Covid, I’m honestly not sure on how to feel- or how I should feel. I worry that if I see my family, there’s a chance of one of us could have it, and we pass it on to each other – but also, I feel like this pandemic has taken so much joy from all of our lives, and I know I’m not the only one bored of this situation. I also know of many friends, and have heard many stories of people who have lost loved ones this year, and I have been fortunate that my family have been healthy from Covid.
I can already hear the mob of people who will accuse me of not taking Covid seriously for how I feel about this mess, but the point is that I have been taking this seriously- and yet cases continue to rise, and we continue to go around the converyer belt of lockdowns and tier restrictions. I have been following the rules, because I want to see my family again, without the fear that I’ll inadverently pass it to someone vulnerable along the way. For me- Christmas was a goal where the cases would be low, and we can celebrate with whoever we want; that was really wishful thinking on my part.
Working in finance for a healthcare recruitment agency, and volunteering for a mental health charity, I hear first hand the frustrations of our front line workers about this situation, being constantly exposed to the virus, and the effects on their most vulnerable service users. When I see people breaking the rules on popular media sites, and with my own eyes- I get angry that people are so selfish, and they don’t realise that their actions just prolong the pandemic for all of us. It just seems that everyone has given up, and now that Christmas is around the corner, people have given up on following the rules. It doesn’t help that where the government have allowed the relaxing of restrictions over the holiday, that when the cases will inevitably rise further- that the government will blame us for “taking advantage of the rules”, and potentially throw us in another lockdown.
It’s disheartening to say the least, but all I can think is that the faster the vaccine is injected in our arms- the better.
So when I think of Christmas this year, I will take advantage of the time for what I’ve got to look forward to- see the family that I can see, spend time with Tom, have the longest holiday off work I’ve had in the whole of 2020, and just count my blessings for what I have at this moment. This is all I can do.