Safely Celebrating the Holidays!


Students safely celebrating spirit week

Ashley Matamoros, Sophomore

As we enter “the most wonderful time of the year,” we need to keep the occurring pandemic in mind. While it might be tempting to gather with family to make things feel normal, you might want to rethink how you celebrate the holidays this year. It’s important to remember about safety precautions and regulations.

Things you should keep in mind while planning a gathering, as recommended by the CDC are: 

  • Limiting the number of guests to encourage social distancing
  • Limiting the duration of the event to limit exposure
  • Considering having a gathering in an area with ventilation
  • Encouraging guest to wash their hands regularly 

Simultaneously, you shouldn’t attend gatherings if: 

  • You’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 
  • You have a COVID-19 test pending 
  • You have COVID-19 and haven’t been cleared
  • You’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days

A concept recommended by Mayo Clinic, is to create a “COVID bubble.” This idea helps those who long for social interaction after such a difficult year. These bubbles could include up to 10 people. People in this bubble aim to limit all other social interactions so that they can interact with people within their bubble. 

“Starting in October, my family decided to create our ‘bubble’,” Amie Branch, Biology teacher said. “Since then, we have been only socializing with my family to make sure that we could then celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas together.”

Students and staff at HHS have implemented safety precautions during the holidays and they’ll continue to use them over the upcoming holidays.

“My family decided to stay home this year, and we aren’t visiting one another for the holidays,” Sophomore Kiara Miller said. “I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, we cooked food and we ate together. No one came over or anything, it was just us. Usually, my mom cooks food for the house, then we go to my aunt’s house, and celebrate, but this year we had to do it a little differently.”

For some, the upcoming holidays pose a concern. 

“I’m very concerned, I think anytime right now with COVID-19, when you’ve got large gatherings,” Dr. Kevin Carl, Superintendent of HPSD, said. “We have to be very thoughtful about the things we are doing and how we interact with others. The holidays are a special time for families and for people personally to do things with their friends, but I think that it’s extremely important this year that people use a lot of caution and some common sense. I think right now safety should be everyone’s priority. We all have a part to play in doing the very best to keep things safe for everyone,” Carl added.

Mrs. Branch offers advice to those not alarmed by the virus and hopes that everyone stays safe over the holiday break. 

“I hate to hear that people ‘aren’t concerned’ about the pandemic- even if you personally aren’t affected, your actions affect everyone around you,” Branch said. “I hope that everyone makes smart choices over the holidays. If you do go out to shop or travel, wear your mask. Small sacrifices now will help us get back to normal sooner- and everyone can agree that is what they want!”