The holiday season in the Kaneland community may look different this year due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic and the sudden rise in positive cases within Illinois.
The number of COVID-19 cases is rising every day. Three months ago, on August 13, 2020, over 1,900 cases were reported in Illinois. Just days ago, on Nov. 13, 2020, more than 15,200 cases were reported, according to The New York Times. With the rapid increase of new cases, the Kaneland community looks ahead to how their holiday season might be affected.
“It will definitely be more difficult to plan visits with family, especially because mine is of a bigger size. This means that we will have to be creative in how we will celebrate the holidays,” sophomore Annika Salchert said.
Similarly, with hopes to stay safe and healthy, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary 5th grade student Grace Brunscheen said her family will make changes to their holiday plans to follow restrictions of the current pandemic.
“COVID will affect my season by some of my family members not being able to make it,” Brunscheen said. “And I can’t go to Chicago to visit Macy’s where my whole family will see Santa.”
The Brunscheen family has made it a tradition to visit Santa in Chicago for the last eight years.
With intentions to wear masks and social distance, these students and their families have figured out ways to protect themselves from the virus while still gathering with loved ones for the upcoming holidays.
While some Kaneland families have adjusted their holiday plans to accommodate the ongoing pandemic, others do not plan to change how their season will be celebrated.
“Personally, it won’t affect my holiday season too much because my family is relatively small,” Junior Ashlyn Hain said.
Not adhering to the recommendations from the state can look different depending on family situations. Size, health-related concerns and views on the virus can affect how the holiday season will be celebrated.
Likewise, freshman Syda Shadle said despite the coronavirus, her family plans to celebrate the holiday season as normal. With no plans to wear masks or social distance, her holidays will look like every other year.
As a result of increasing cases, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker closed indoor eating establishments at the end of October with hopes to slow the spread of the virus. In addition, as of Nov. 12, 2020, Pritzker asked Illinois citizens to stay home as much as possible to help lower case numbers. The governor requests that all citizens only go out for essentials such as education, careers not conducive to life at home, grocery shopping and visits to doctor’s offices. If numbers do not get better, Pritzker is considering reinstating a mandatory stay-at-home order. This could lead to drastic and last-minute changes in holiday plans for families all over the state, including the Kaneland community.
The upcoming holiday season will bring about many new ways of celebrating. No matter how Kaneland community families chose to celebrate, this holiday season will prove to be like one never seen before.