LEARNING TO ADAPT: COVID causes some Minnesotans to change original holiday plans

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 10:45 PM CST
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SOUTH EASTERN, Minn. (KTTC) – For the second year in a row, COVID-19 delivered a lump of coal to many Americans this holiday season. While some Minnesotans were able to gather with family and friends over the Christmas weekend, others weren’t so fortunate.

“I found out Friday night that I tested positive for the Coronavirus,” Winona resident Cotter Horihan said.

It wasn’t a Christmas present Horihan asked for. In fact, he did everything in his power to not get COVID-19.

“I’m fully vaccinated and I thought that would do the trick, but I guess not,” he said.

Horihan spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day in quarantine. He said was able to spend some time with family the week before.

“I got scared,” Horihan said. “This is my second time with COVID. This time, I have more symptoms than before.”

The virus changes holiday plans for Rochester resident Celeste Lewis.

“We were hoping we could get together again this year,” Lewis said.

Lewis is usually the host for her family Christmas. But this year, was another a part from family and friends after COVID blew through the Lewis family one by one.

“My middle school daughter was diagnosed with COVID five days prior to Thanksgiving,” she said. “So, we had to cancel that. Then it sort of made its way through our entire household.”

Even though everyone who was eligible to do so at the time were vaccinated, the Lewis family was hit hard. Lewis said she even had to go the emergency room.

It wasn’t just the holiday itself that was different, but the entire season.

“I think it affected my nine year old the most. There were no family gatherings. Everything was online. Which is actually still affecting us because I haven’t gotten any of our presents yet,” she said.

With New Years Eve and New Years Day right around the corner, those who have been through it, like Horihan and Lewis, give a similar word of warning.

“Right now it is so prevalent that you just need to be cautious,” Lewis said. “And take those steps to maybe try and protect yourself if you can.”

“I would strongly suggest doing your part and get the vaccine,” Horihan said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that if you catch COVID and don’t have any symptoms, you only need to quarantine for five days, instead of ten.

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