There is no doubt about it: this year’s holiday will be quiet. This does not mean you have to live alone, according to BC health officials.
The province is under health orders until Jan. 8, which limits meetings of any size, indoor or outdoor. These measures are in response to the toughest second wave in the ongoing epidemic, which has been counting the daily cases of the top 900 new infections, as well as the rate of hospitalization at record levels.
According to information released by the regional health office, certain conditions were excluded from the orders.
While most British Columbians are limited to spending Christmas, Hanukkah and other celebrations with their immediate home, those living alone are allowed to mingle with others.
People living alone, known as the “core bubble”, can still see a partner, relative, friend, or co-parent in a different home. This bubble can hold a maximum of two people.
Other exemptions include co-parents or reliance on other family members and friends to deliver important products such as mail, medicines or groceries.
Last week, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that grandparents, who are already helping look after grandchildren, will be allowed to see each other during holidays such as Christmas and New Year.
However, Dix said caution is still important in supporting the second wave.
“When in doubt, dismiss it,” he said. “When there is an extra risk, discard it.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer, said, “What about my specific condition?” She was overwhelmed with hundreds of inquiries that people ask. And urged British Columbians to take the rules and enforce them in such a way as to ensure that transmission accidents are minimized.
“The bottom line is that we want to be as close to our home as possible,” she said.
“If you include grandparents regularly as part of caring for children in your home, you, especially your grandparents, can make that decision about that risk.”
What hasn’t happened, Henry says, is that extended families – like adult children with their own children and partners – have this holiday.
“We need to show our love for each other in order to be small and to be alone with our closest family unit.”
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