Ho, Ho, No! Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus just became coronavirus super spreaders!
According to People, two unidentified actors who attended a Christmas parade in Ludowici, Georgia earlier this month tested positive for the novel virus after they’d already taken photos with roughly 50 children! The meet-and-greet took place after a tree-lighting ceremony which was not put on by the local government, but attended heavily by officials.
Robert Parker, the chairman of the Long County Board of Commissioners, said in a statement:
“While this event was not put on by the City of Ludowici or the Long County Board of Commissioners, it was well attended by our public officials and I believe I speak for the majority of them in saying that we still stand by the decision of the Chamber to move forward with these holiday traditions and to bring some sense of normalcy to these trying times.”
Yikes! While we totally understand wanting to bask in the holiday spirit, has this town learned nothing from the ghosts of their Christmas party past?!
On December 9, the Long County School System shared on Facebook that they’d already seen a spike in local cases, writing:
“[We are] experiencing an increase in Long County students and staff who are currently diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or are quarantined due to being identified as a direct contact for a positive person.”
Dana Green, a parent coordinator for the local school system, told news station WJCL that kids were encouraged to quarantine at home until the New Year if they came into contact with any individual who was exposed. But judging by the chairman’s determination to press on as normal, it’s unclear how many families will abide by the CDC isolation guidelines.
While no word has been given on the North Pole culprits, Parker made sure to rid them of any fault, telling those concerned:
“I have personally known both ‘Santa’ and ‘Mrs. Claus’ my entire life and I can assure everyone that they would have never knowingly done anything to place any children in danger. They have both filled these roles for many years, and bringing joy to children during the holidays is one of the most important parts of their lives.”
Despite the clear consequences of this Christmas parade, the public official remains committed to holding even more holiday events! He argued that each party attendee had accepted the risk prior to going, explaining:
“No children were forced to attend the events and that choice was left solely in the hands of their parent.”
Which, sure, parents make the decisions when it comes to their own families, but it’s not like the kids really have a say in the matter. They might know to wear a mask in public, but many Santa-fans are too young to understand the severe consequences of this global pandemic. Here’s to hoping they all stay healthy before the real Santa arrives at the end of the month.
[Image via WENN/Instar]