Christmas traditions continue amid pandemic, doctors urge precautions


INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 continues its relentless spread across central Indiana. The pandemic threatens traditions we hold dear, like gathering for Thanksgiving and going to Christmas tree farms with family.

Dr. Cole Beeler, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at IU Health, stresses the hospitals are overwhelmed and he is concerned about a post-Thanksgiving surge.

“There’s a lot of people coming into Indiana and also leaving Indiana,” Beeler said. “A lot of that in the setting of clustering to me makes me really nervous.”

Beeler said the surge in cases is not because the virus is mutating, but rather because people’s behaviors are changing.

“We’ve seen a breakdown in spacing, a breakdown in masking, a breakdown in mobility meaning people are more mobile, clustering together more,” Beeler explained.

Dr. Beeler said if Hoosiers go out, they should take every precaution.

“There are ways to potentially protect themselves, but nothing is foolproof,” Beeler said.

Safety precautions were top of mind Friday at Dull’s Tree Farm for opening day.

“We worked a lot with our local health officials and things like that to come up with a plan that we thought we could still have our same number of people out but do it in a safe manner,” Lucas Dull, Co-Owner, said.

Dull’s canceled their horse-drawn wagon ride, Dog Day and Breakfast with Buddy the Elf this year. Through their planning with county health officials, they separated the tree processing side from the retail side.

“Christmas is something that everybody is celebrating this year, and it’s kind of a breath of fresh air for people,” Dull said. “We love being a part of that and that’s why we’re trying to do still as much as we can so that people can kind of end the year on that positive note.”

Christmas tree farm businesses around the area have their COVID19 precautions listed on their website. Doctors advise you to check those and, if you are going to visit, go when it is not as busy to ensure you can socially distance.

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