11/12/2020 20:42 EST

Dr. Bonnie Henry Says Santa Will Be ‘Washing His Hands A Lot’ This Christmas

Dr. Bonnie Henry noted that Christmas and other winter holidays this year will be a bit different.

As the winter holiday season approaches, B.C.’s chief medical officer acknowledged celebrations will be a lot different this year — even for one particular jolly man in a red suit.

“We will have Christmas. We will have Christmas. It’ll look different,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a news conference Thursday. 

The comments came after Henry was asked if B.C. residents can hope for anything resembling a “normal” Christmas this year. The province is currently amidst a surging second wave of COVID-19.

sdominick via Getty Images
Santa Claus gives two thumbs up, assumedly to the idea of celebrating Christmas safely this year. 


New measures introduced for B.C.’s lower mainland earlier this week restricting social gatherings to only with the people in your own household had many worrying about the prospect of celebrating Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and other winter holidays in the coming weeks and months. Modelling released Thursday projects that case rates will continue to rise across the province well into December without intervention. 

Henry admitted there isn’t a vaccine or strategy that will “save the day” by the end of December.

“There isn’t one thing that we can do that’s going to make this all go away,” she said. “But there are many small things that we can do that will help us get through this.” 

Don Craig/Province of B.C.
B.C. chief medical officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an update on COVID-19 on Nov. 9, 2020

She reiterated that people should follow their local health orders and make the choice not to partake in nonessential travel and socialization, and stay home from work when given the choice. And when it comes to celebrating these winter holidays, it’s important to do it in a way that’s safe for everyone. 

As for one of the winter holiday’s busiest workers?  

“Santa probably has immunity, and we’ll look at how we’ll facilitate him,” Henry said. “I think he’ll be washing his hands a lot and he probably won’t be eating cookies and milk in every house this year, but we’ll find ways of making it work.”

It’s good to hear amidst all the important public health information, that Santa is on the mind and the province is planning for his arrival. 

Memorably, B.C. Premier John Horgan and several other officials across Canada declared the Easter Bunny an “essential service” earlier this year during the pandemic’s first wave. 

It remains to be seen if old St. Nick will get the same treatment.