If 2020 was a movie, this would be the review: zero stars, wouldn’t recommend.
A pandemic swept the land, bringing along masks and loneliness, race riots and looting exploded, and the presidential election just won’t end. Plus, murder hornets.
Thanksgiving gatherings across the land have been canceled, which means families won’t gather for feasts and football. So now the question is: Will the last great holiday of the year even happen?
With social distancing mandated, children must be wondering if Santa Claus will slide down the chimney (or at least pop through a window) to deliver presents. He is kinda’ old and he does eat a lot of cookies, so maybe he’d be considered “at risk.” He could be a “super spreader” — and the fact that he slips into every single house (and apartment) in the entire world, if there’s one guy who could really spread COVID-19, it’s Santa Claus.
But finally, there’s some good news in 2020. Jolly Old St. Nick has “innate immunity” from the virus, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity,” Fauci told USA Today last week. “Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody.”
But Santa will not be making his usual appearances in malls across the U.S., The New York Times reported last week.
“We all check most of the boxes. We are almost all elderly, we are almost all obese and almost all have some kind of health condition. Diabetes, breathing problems, you name it,” Stephen Arnold, a 70-year-old professional Santa, told the Times. “So we all have to exercise an abundance of caution. And to do that, we are joining with our previous clients and trying to get creative.”
Macy’s, which has been hosting Santa since 1861, will go virtual this holiday season.
“To replicate the magical experience of visiting Macy’s Santaland for children and their families, we will shift to a virtual engagement this year,” Susan Tercero, Macy’s vice president of Branded Entertainment, said in a press release.
“The experience starts with a greeting from virtual elves who lead the way through Santa’s village and workshop, stopping to see the sights and play interactive games. At the end, kids will meet Santa through an interactive video, where they’ll be able to share their holiday wish list and take a selfie, which families can download immediately, with Santa,” CNN reported.
And Santa will still appear at the department store’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, although the parade will be very different from years past. “In September, Macy’s announced that it’s shifting the event to a ‘television-only special presentation’ this year, forgoing the traditional 2.5-mile New York City route and reducing the number of parade participants by 75%. And the 80 to 100 handlers that normally walk the balloons will be replaced by special vehicles,” CNN reported.