With so much information about the newly approved vaccines for COVID-19 and their distribution across the country, many people are wondering how quickly their benefits will be going into effect and helping to bring the country back to the “old normal.” 

The recently approved Pfizer vaccine was prepared to be distributed to hundreds of thousands of people as soon as it was approved by the FDA, and Pfizer is expected to produce about 25 million more doses by the end of the month. However, even with all of these new medical advances, the CDC is still encouraging people to remain home for the holidays. 

As members of the Concord Academy community know, many students travel or spend time with their extended family and friends during the holidays. But what can students do that is COVID-friendly? A simple search on the internet can provide you with endless ideas.

One of the ideas that the CDC recommends is virtual gift exchanges over Zoom. Whether it is with friends, family, or a CA club, there are many people it is possible to arrange this with. Additionally, they recommend playing in the snow if you live in a cold area, attending virtual religious ceremonies, decorating your home for any holidays that you may celebrate, and more. 

Already, many CA students are trying to find ways to connect with their loved ones during these often family-oriented times. Some ideas that students have come up with are sending each other cards that they decorated, gift exchanges, virtual dance or fitness classes on a zoom call, presentation nights, virtual game nights, virtual dinners, and more. 

With all of these ideas, it seems entirely possible to have fun virtually, but if for some reason you must attend an event with other people, the CDC continues to encourage people to remain socially distanced and with masks on. Additionally, if this event involves eating, it is recommended that people bring their own dishes and silverware, that all condiments are in single use packaging, and that everyone brings their own food.

Although these times may feel isolating, it is important to acknowledge all of the things that people can do to connect while making sure to stay safe. Now more than ever our relationships with our loved ones are so important.