Home for the Holidays?


The Dose family poses for a family photo after the birth of their second child.

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

While many deem the pandemic to be a thing of the past, it has altered the way we interact with others. With the holiday season upon us, many are still taking precautions when it comes to family gatherings. 

A few North Polk students and teachers shared how their family gatherings have altered (or not) during the holiday season. 

 Zach Martin and Alexandria Groff’s families have decided to not change any of their usual activities during this holiday. Martin’s family is mostly vaccinated so they are not worrying about spreading Covid-19 while gathering together. Groff’s family is spending Christmas eating, watching movies and opening presents together. 

While those families feel that they will not risk the wellbeing of their family, some groups are more impacted than others. Teachers Aaron and Lyndsey Dose have a newborn baby and they are somewhat cautious with their traveling, “We usually travel to Southeast Iowa for Mrs. Dose’s family on Christmas Eve, then back home for Christmas Day with our own kids, Aspen and Leo.Then we travel to South Dakota for my side of the family,” explained Aaron Dose. 

This year, the Dose family will start celebrating normally for the upcoming holidays, but they still use Facetime often to keep in touch with family that is far away. 

English teacher Susan Vernon has a very large family and due to this some extra planning is involved for family gatherings. Vernon has five kids, in-laws, parents and friends that she celebrates with during the holidays. She continued saying,“This year, things look a little different. Our entire family is vaccinated but we still took Covid tests before gathering for Thanksgiving. Our son-in-law has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy now.” 

Because contact to Covid-19 could be detrimental to Vernon’s son-in-law, he and his wife stayed home for Thanksgiving but will be able to make it for family Christmas. Because Vernon and her daughter both work at unmasked schools, “we will wait a few days after school lets out to gather and we will all take Covid tests before we do,” explained Vernon. 

The CDC website recommends the following for holiday gatherings:

  • Get vaccinated if able
  • Wear a mask in crowded indoor areas, especially if someone is high risk 
  • If you are sick, stay home 
  • Get tested before interacting in large crowds

This information came from the CDC website, for further information visit this url. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html