Home for the Holidays?


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Photo by Emmanuelle Firman via Unsplash

As we enter our second year of COVID-19, pandemic fatigue is hitting some of us harder than others. Living through the coronavirus era is exhausting at any point, but during the holidays the situation can become even more frustrating. Last year, I was home for the entire holiday season for the first time in several years. The change of pace due to COVID was upsetting, but also a stark wake-up call to how much the pandemic has changed our lives.

The introduction of vaccines and the advancement of masks has allowed traveling to mostly resume as usual. While mask mandates and increased sanitation remain, airlines, hotels, and travel as a whole have come back. Whether traveling back home or far away from it, this year has allowed us jet-setters to resume our normal activity. The improved access to COVID-19 tests has also reinvigorated holiday travel. In 2020, COVID tests were slow moving, but during this year’s holiday season many homes have rapid tests on hand. 

While I was fortunate enough to have my family in our home for the holidays, others were not as lucky. A pandemic holiday season in 2020 encompassed quarantines and travel bans prohibiting family members from coming home. Around this time last year, my own brother was quarantined through Thanksgiving. Thankfully, this year family members are having an easier time coming home, a result of the emergence of COVID-19 vaccines. Whether Pfizer, Moderna, or J & J, the new vaccines have enabled families to spend the holidays together. 

Although another holiday during the pandemic can bring up anger and frustration, it seems that we’re trudging ahead with our “new normal.” Families are able to gather again, people can travel, and many industries seem to be bouncing back. While recent spikes in variants and cases can be frightening, this holiday season is hopeful. Another pandemic holiday, but a better one.