The tale of two Christmases in New Jersey (Opinion)
About 9 out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas in some way, although that number may be slightly lower here in New Jersey due to a higher percentage different cultures in our state. Suffice it to say that most New Jerseyans celebrate Christmas in some way. However, there are many people in New Jersey that didn't get to see all of the family and friends they would have normally seen around the holiday.
Many people didn't fly home or fly out to see relatives due to the fear of COVID and lots of people scaled down the celebrations they had at home. I have two three family members who just got over the virus and they were out and about, following their recommended quarantine period was done. We had a couple of gatherings at the house and they were slightly smaller than normal, but pretty much all went along as most Christmas celebrations.
Only a very small portion of our extended family took extreme precautions over the holiday and the rest of us did our thing, but on a slightly smaller scale. However you chose to celebrate or not celebrate the holiday was a personal choice that we should all respect. It's the government overreach and fear mongering that is an issue. If you recall, a month ago we were warned about a big surge after Thanksgiving. Many people buy into the notion that there was, but there really wasn't more than the usual regional spikes that have been happening for the past several months.
States like Utah, where large families and large family gatherings couldn't be stopped, didn't see a spike. Likewise for big states like Michigan. The same was true for many other states like Illinois. National media doesn't report the good news from all states or any state for that matter. NPR reported honestly that it depended on the state. President elect Joe Biden warned last week that the "worst days are not behind us", but ahead of us when it comes to the virus, instilling more fear and panic among many.
The media and politicians warn of a post-holiday spike n the coming weeks. There's always a spike in illness, mostly flu, that comes in January and February, so be careful. There are two ways you can digest what's coming out from media and government these days. On the one hand you can think and believe the worst and on the other you can do your best to stay safe and hope for the best. We chose the latter for much of this year and this past holiday, and I hope and pray that more people will do the same in the coming year. We've been told this past year that it's all about saving lives. Well, it's also about living lives too, and I'm not about to stop living mine. With all due respect.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis's own.