RISING SUN - Although I live with a four-and-a-half-year-old who is forever reminding me Christmas is on its way, I still felt startled looking at the calendar this morning. The season is upon us, with full force.
Thatcher is an inquisitive and spirited child. He is very observant about the world around him. So it goes without saying that he has had his fair share of questions about pandemic life.
Most recently it seems that his concerns have shifted to Santa’s safety during his delivery, scheduled to begin tonight.
One of the measures Thatcher took upon himself to implement was adding a bottle of hand sanitizer from his personal stock, to the table of Santa’s offerings. At our house, we traditionally leave Santa snacks with his cookies and instead of the traditional milk, we opt usually for beer.
Thatcher and I have also been discussing that Santa has been isolated at the North Pole with Ms. Claus. “But what about the Elves?” Thatcher questioned. “Do they go to each other's houses, do they wear masks when they work?” To which, we decided, yes they probably do go in each other's houses, because the staff and residents of the North Pole are one big isolated pandemic pod, like our pod.
Thatcher was still a little leery of Santa coming into our house. Understandably so, considering we’ve had barely anyone infiltrate or perimeter since we purchased and moved in wayyyyy back at the beginning of all of this mess. But again, we assured him that we are sure Santa will use his best judgement and wear his holly jolly mask and take off his big black gloves and wash his hands, in addition to using Thatcher’s sanitizer. Because not even Covid-19 can squash the magic of Christmas.
Thatcher accepted this information, on the goodwill that his parents know what they’re talking about.
This morning however, we received most excellent news. An official broadcast, to drive home Santa’s safety.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, shared during a meeting with CNN and Sesame Street that the Big Man in Red is good to go.
As it turns out, Thatcher is not the only child in the world who had these concerns for Mr. Claus. One child asked during this meeting the same question. “Will Santa still be able to visit me in coronavirus’s season? What if he can’t go to anyone’s house, or near his reindeer?”
To which, Dr. Fauci explained “I took care of that for you, because I was worried that you’d all be upset.” Fauci said. “So what I did a little while ago: I took a trip up there to the North Pole, I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go! He can come down the chimney, he can leave the presents, he can leave, and you have nothing to worry about.”
Relief washed over me hearing this news. Thatcher who watched the broadcast with me was overjoyed and leaped into my arms and squealed with delight. Nothing would be stopping Santa, not even COVID.
Although we know that children won’t be able to get vaccinated against COVID at least initially, we’ve also been talking to Thatcher about getting his shot when the time comes. Knowing that even Santa Claus got vaccinated is a strong indicator that it’s probably a good idea to do, and won’t hurt, that much.
Like Thatcher who takes so much delight in knowing Santa is safe with his vaccine, I am swelled with emotions seeing all the images of vital healthcare workers receiving theirs.
I am comforted knowing we can believe in science, and that there are wealthy people out there willing to finance the expedition of the availability of these vaccines to people. To know that lives maybe spared with this shot.
That the collective suffering and fear we are enduring from this pandemic could have an end in sight is almost bewildering to fathom. So many of us have been touched by the pain of loss, the triumph of survival, and the heartbreak and fear of simply reading the words POSITIVE.
As the weight of the pandemic fatigue hits hard this holiday season, I hope all of you will hold on just a little bit longer. I too know it’s so easy to just feel “so over it all,” but we have to trust the process, trust science, and exercise our cautions until it is truly safe and the vaccine is widely and freely available to all of those who need it.So from me to you, I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday and New Year too, and don’t forget to leave the Santa-tizer out this evening for Jolly Old St. Nick.