This Christmas is going to be very different for our communities on Vancouver Island.
The COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled many of the standard (and beloved) Christmas events that we get together and celebrate during these dark winter months.
Already fallen casualty to COVID is the Christmas Chaos craft fair at the Cowichan Community Centre that, the weekend after Remembrance Day, kicks off the holiday season for many. Most of the other craft fairs that usually help make the season bright, and earn a significant portion of the annual revenue for local craftspeople and artists, have also been cancelled.
Then there are the municipal celebrations that are being cancelled, like the Lake Cowichan Santa Parade, Duncan Kick-off and Ladysmith Light-up. Also falling victim to COVID are the Christmas Express at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan and the Run For the Claus, a fundraiser for the Clements Centre.
That’s just the Cowichan area, and we imagine this list will continue to grow as the season progresses.
Especially if the COVID-19 numbers continue to skyrocket as they have been.
It is incumbent upon each of us to do our part so that we reverse that trend. It wasn’t that long ago that we could not imagine daily case counts over 200. Now we are well into the 700 range and growing. We urge people, along with our public health officials, not to travel to the Mainland unless they have to, limit their social circle, physically distance when in public, wash your hands, and wear a mask when indoors in a public place or in a crowd.
As for making the season special, we’ll have to adjust our Christmas plans this year. Listening to all your favourite Christmas music is still a great way to have fun, and if you’re home or in your car, you can feel free to sing along. Decorating your indoor and outdoors spaces can be a lot of fun, too. As Christmas draws closer, a family drive to see the Christmas lights and displays in people’s yards can be a good, safe way to celebrate.
Also important will be letting people know you’re thinking of them with anything from a gift (consider supporting a local business, they need that support more than ever this year), to dropping a few lines to someone from afar.
So no, Christmas won’t be the same this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be the uplifting season we all need now more than ever.
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