Christmas is something you carry inside your heart. It does not depend on presents or carols or exceptional food, but all of those things help intensify the feelings of “Good Will Towards Men.” However, it is a time for gathering together. It is a time for Christmas Eve church service attended by the whole family. Time for relatives to fly into town and meet up with their cousins. A joyous time for reunions and bonding with family.

So many people are afraid to see their relatives because of their fear of the Coronavirus this year. It makes me sad for them. Somehow the fear has supplanted the desire to be in physical contact with their most loved family members. Grandparents who have not seen their grandchildren in person for a year, make me sad. Some have never seen them, in the case of new babies. This has all been manufactured by the Press, the CDC, and WHO and various doctors who are constantly on TV.

When there was a reason to go somewhere in years past, I attended sick or well. Often while suffering from a cold or even the flu I went to work or school or out to a party. I went to my Mother’s 90th birthday party when I should have been home in bed. I had a high fever and felt horrible. 

But it was a once in a lifetime event. My Mother was spectacular at 90. Her party was more like a debut than a sedate older person’s party. It was a black-tie dinner-dance for 180 people. Along with family, the guests included many 90-year-olds who were all dressed up in evening gowns and jewels. We were all so pleased to celebrate with Mother. I would not have considered missing it. But I was ill with the beginning of a full-blown case of the flu. I must have been highly contagious.

But even though others knew I was sick, no one suggested that I should stay home. And no one suggested that I might be a potential MURDERER of some unsuspecting older person. There were plenty of them at that party. The flu can be lethal for older people, especially those with co-morbidities. But as far as I know, no one died after seeing me at that party.

Many people used to go out when they were sick or just coming down with something, how our perceptions have changed! Egged on by the media, we are forced to stay home and self-quarantine if we feel bad. Just in case. The multitude of self-righteous people who enjoy arbitrating behavior demand to take our temperature before entering a crowded place. 

Within a little more than ten months we have become so afraid of random illness being cast upon us that we are nearly ALL sequestered in our homes. Many are spending Christmas alone; with a laptop or an iPad for company.

Not everyone is buying into this. Certainly not me. We are going to my daughters’ house for Christmas midday dinner. There will be more than a dozen of us eating inside. Many of us have already had the virus. But even for those who have not yet become immune, it is not considered a significant risk. We love the camaraderie and love we feel at these family gatherings. We have a great time with each other. We do not fear contact, and we hug and kiss.

If any of us develops symptoms we would treat them immediately. We would not just sit home and wait to become sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. We would make every effort to stave it off from the beginning. The disease has a survival rate of 99.97%. Why have people become so afraid of a virus that is so unlikely to kill them? The propaganda has been intense. We see scenes of distraught medical staff and weeping family members unable to visit their loved ones who are dying alone. This is constantly shown on TV, print, and social media. “Be afraid.” they say. Over and over again. Why? 

But Christmas is coming whether you believe in the virus as a “killer” or not. Christmas trumps the virus as far as I am concerned. People who are scared say, “oh, just wait another year until it is safe.” But I say enjoy your loved ones NOW. You don’t know who will still be here next year.

So gather, see your grandparents and hug them. Eat a big Christmas dinner and exchange gifts in person while listening to Christmas carols broadcast from your phone or iPad. Look at all the decorations and feel the love in the air. Don’t miss this. Don’t be so afraid for your life that you MISS your life along the way.

2020 is a year to be especially grateful for family.

Copyright©. 2020 Bonnie B. Matheson

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