The holiday season is upon us and it's tempting to want to turn to the traditions we so cherish as a distraction: gathering with all of our friends and family, eating and drinking together, attending services of faith and celebration, exchanging gifts, embracing each other.
But our classic ways of celebrating the holidays won't provide comfort from the current state of the world: nearly 1.5 million people lost to this virus, almost 70 million more fallen ill, and only vague ideas of how and when this pandemic will end.
In fact, being together is something we know opens up the door for more transmission, more sickness, and ultimately more death. We have yet to see the true spike in COVID-19 cases from the Thanksgiving holiday, but experts fear it will be brutal.
With that in mind, we are asking you to selflessly put the safety and health of the entire world above your own holiday plans. Then sign the pledge and share it with others to encourage everyone you know to do the smart, safe thing this year.
This decision will be a painfully difficult one to make for most. Most of us have not seen our family or friends in nine months, and the idea of being without them during a time of year that is always characterized by togetherness is excruciating. But being a part of the worldwide community means acting as a part of something much larger than oneself. Nothing could represent 'togetherness' better.
By December 2, 2020, the United States officially had over 100,000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Compared to any of the surges in cases over the spring or summer, this is almost double. And this, as stated above, is not yet the Thanksgiving surge experts warn is coming. Hospitals are at their breaking point, as are the frontline workers who care for these patients -- many of which have had to live separately from their own families to prevent transmission while they work endlessly to save lives.
Stay home for them. Stay home for the grandparents in nursing homes. Stay home for folks with disabilities and those who are otherwise compromised. Stay home so that everyone can be here for the holidays next year.There's no place like home for the holidays. If you are staying home this holiday season, please sign the pledge! And thank you.