Why am I staying dwelling for the vacations once more


« What are you doing for the holidays? » Once upon a time there was a pre-pandemic, this question seemed simple. But as I choose to stay home for the holidays again this year, it hits me differently these days. Despite tighter vaccination mandates and relaxed travel restrictions linked to COVID-19, in-person celebrations still seem a bit complicated. On the one hand, there is still a raging pandemic. For two, I’m a brand new mom.

Now, when a friend or acquaintance asks me about my vacation plans, my mix of strong feelings – security and pride in my commitment to following CDC guidelines, but also sadness and isolation – makes it difficult to come up with a coherent answer, so I just say, « Probably stay home. » I then quickly ask questions about the interrogator’s plans, hoping I won’t have to explain Why I spend the holidays at home: I have a new baby who cannot be vaccinated or wear a mask, so I am not yet comfortable with family and friends (yes, even when they are vaccinated, and yes, even for the holidays).

I developed this diversionary tactic for good reason. My previous attempts to state my reasoning for celebrating the holidays at home have often elicited responses such as, « You’re being too careful », « Babies don’t really get COVID » and « Don’t you miss your family and friends? “Responding to these scornful remarks, however well-intentioned they were, was emotionally draining, so I decided to start changing the subject, remembering that it’s only okay not to be ready to pass the vacation with loved ones in real life. again this year, for whatever reason.

Everyone has the right to decide if they are comfortable with in-person vacation gatherings, and I know that stepping down from meetings with people outside my household this year is the right choice for me and my family. . We are still in a deadly global pandemic, according to the CDCthe COVID-19 data tracker of, nearly 800,000 people died of the virus in the United States alone, as of December 15, 2021 – and I want to remain vigilant to protect my little one, especially with the emergence of a disturbing new variant.

Yes, more people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine – as of December 15, 2021, 72% of eligible people living in America have received at least one dose, according to the CDC. But only 61% received both doses (and only 27% of those people received a booster). So while I congratulate the nearly two-thirds of eligible people in the United States who are fully vaccinated, I also find it terrifying, especially as a new mom, to know that around 40% have yet to receive the vaccine. .

To make matters more concerning, the COVID-19 omicron variant has arrived just in time for the holiday season. The first American case of the most recent strain of coronavirus (which looks like a Marvel villain if you ask me) has been reported in California, but the variant is now present in more than half of all states. Even though omicron appears to be benign, the strain is still of concern to experts, as SELF previously reported, because it is potentially more transmissible than previous variants. As scientists work around the clock to learn more about this, experts say our best line of defense is to get the shot and boost. And since there are still millions of unvaccinated people in this country and my baby is not eligible for the vaccine, I am choosing not to travel to see family this year – or to spend time indoors. with friends nearby – so I can protect my little one from COVID-19 and a possibly more contagious strain.

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