Stick to social bubble this Christmas, urges CK’s medical officer of health

A close-up photo of a Christmas tree. (Photo courtesy

Chatham-Kent’s top doctor isn’t ruling out Christmas gatherings all together this year, but he is encouraging people to consider alternative ways to celebrate the holidays.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby said that while Christmas events don’t need to be outright cancelled, people should be reminded to only gather with those within their social bubble.

Colby’s suggestions come as Ontario continuously reports record new daily cases of the virus. Although it may be difficult to stick to smaller celebrations, Colby said limiting the number of people in gatherings this holiday season is the only way to defeat COVID-19.

“This is not the year to congregate with people, it just isn’t,” he said. “Until we get a vaccine that’s going to bring this pandemic to its knees, I’m really worried about the social aspects of the holiday season coming up. I think we really need to think about just interacting with our household and a small number of our most cherished people.”

Colby said there has been signals from national health officials that a vaccine is getting closer. He added that the only way the province will go back to some sense of normalcy is if an effective vaccine is able to be administered widely to the population.

“I don’t think we’re going to see any kind of normal Christmas in 2020 but nothing else has been normal in 2020 either,” he said.

Colby also recommended that another approach could be to postpone any big Christmas celebrations until it’s safe to do so.

“This is something that is cherished by so many, that it’s not something that we want to lose,” he said. “But, we have to be safe and we have to protect the vulnerable people in our society.”