Weighing Christmas travel, safety a choice we all must make | News, Sports, Jobs

We urge our readers, friends and relatives in the region and elsewhere who are thinking of traveling this Christmas to bear one thing in mind: We are not out of the COVID-19 woods yet, not by a long shot.

Yes, the vaccine is slowly being distributed and cases and deaths seem to be dropping, but in many ways, the coronavirus is more dangerous now than ever in many states.

Public health officials at agencies such as the Marquette County Health Department and beyond cautioned us all about large family gatherings for Thanksgiving. The surge of COVID-19 cases since then is evidence many people paid no heed to the warnings. Thankfully, that spike in cases wasn’t seen here in Upper Peninsula or the state of Michigan.

They went ahead with festivities of the type enjoyed for years — and the deadly virus was transmitted to many members of their families. Tens of thousands of Americans have died of the disease just since Thanksgiving.

What many people consider to be an even more important family holiday is only days away. What will we do for Christmas? Will we heed the warnings, made even more persuasive by what happened after Thanksgiving? Or will we go ahead and get together with loved ones — perhaps vulnerable older people who we have stayed away from for months — to exchange gifts and enjoy delicious Christmas dinners?

With light by all accounts at the end of the tunnel, please consider erring on the side of caution on this one.

What you do for Christmas must be your decision and we won’t presume to make it for you.

That said, we urge you to make it thoughtfully, realistically and with long-term compassion.

Make it a merry Christmas — and a happy New Year, too.

— The Mining Journal, Marquette

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