PICK A SIDE: Will you celebrate the holidays virtually this year?

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With the number of new COVID-19 cases consistently over 2,000, and three GTA regions already in lockdown, more could be joining them as the holidays approach.

In order to help mitigate the spread of the virus, the Province is urging Ontarians to refrain from gathering with friends and extended family this holiday season.

As has been the case for much of the pandemic, people are adapting on the fly, and now, some are even planning virtual holiday events.

Many malls have already gone the virtual route, as a way to allow children to still experience Santa Claus without risking spreading the virus.

However, as more restrictions are implemented to curb the spread of the virus, many Ontarians are considering virtual family “get-togethers.”

Some don’t want to let the virus, which has had a malevolent impact on the majority of the year, ruin their holiday season as well.

However, others, many of whom may be feeling COVID fatigue, including minor health issues—such as eye strain from constantly looking at screens—would rather wait and celebrate with those they care about in person, when it is safe to do so.

One of the benefits of having a virtual celebration is it offers the opportunity to include those who may not be able to attend get-togethers otherwise, such as family members or friends who live far away, and those who can’t get time off from work.

However, one of the downsides, as many teachers know all too well, is the possibility of technical issues, such as lack of equipment, knowledge of how to use said equipment—especially for older participants—and internet connectivity issues.

There’s also the issue of attempting to moderate large video conferences and prevent people from just talking over each other—although many people can probably attest to the fact that can also be an issue for in-person get-togethers as well.

 So, readers, when it comes to celebrating the holidays this year, will you be going virtual?

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