Holidays at Home, For Many Alone

By Naomi Nater

Holiday plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas are changing this year due to the pandemic making it a hard time for many. Some have cancelled gatherings while others are staying close to home.

College of Southern Nevada Professor Maria Moya had plans for the holiday season and unfortunately had to cancel those plans. “For the first time in my life, I actually feel lonely. I am usually very active but now I am at a standstill. I realize that it is necessary for everyone to be safe. My brain knows but my feelings ache. I am not able to visit loved ones and friends because I am over 70 years old and in the danger category.”

As hard as the cancelation was, Moya states she is happy to stay in touch with family and friends, speaking frequently along with texting and emailing. Her passion for knitting also keeps her busy. 

CSN student Bobbie Hickman chose to cancel plans to visit her aunt around Christmas time. “I had to cancel these plans because I did not want to risk getting her sick nor did I have the time to follow the two-week quarantine protocol. I believe it’s a risk that should be taken case-by-case. In my situation it was too big of a risk to take so canceling was the safest option.”

Hickman continued, “I have looked forward to seeing my family on the east side of the country and now that outlook is gone. I feel like the holiday season I planned is bleak.”

Obviously, Hickman is not flying this year due to COVID nor are the majority of Americans.

According to an article published in “Healthline” by Joni Sweet, “The holidays are typically the busiest time of year for travel. According to AAA, a record 115.6 million Americans were expected to travel in the 2019 holiday season. But amid the threat of COVID-19, flight reservations on major U.S. carriers for this Thanksgiving are down by as much as 89%, according to research released in late September by travel data firm OAG.”

What this means is people aren’t flying or traveling far from home this year. Instead, some have found ways to safely get together with family who live in town.

CSN student Katelynn Moriguchi shared her gratitude over being able to visit family during the holidays. “All of my friends and family are located in Las Vegas so I am fortunate to have them all here. It would be a lot harder if they weren’t. I don’t think I would have been able to see them. I will be spending time with my immediate family here in town. If I was not able to see them, it would definitely be disappointing with everything going on in the world. Getting to see them is definitely appreciated.”

The holiday season this year during COVID-19 will certainly affect people in many ways. Moya offers a piece of advice for those staying home during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“I would say let’s count our blessings,” Moya said. “Look for everything that is positive and good in our lives and dwell on that instead of the loss that all of us are experiencing.”

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