Children who are worried that Santa might not be able to visit this year because of COVID-19 can rest assured that the jolly old elf will be able to deliver presents as usual on Christmas.
Santa has had a health check and a COVID-19 vaccination from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert. On Dec. 19 Fauci took part in an event held in conjunction with CNN and Sesame Street and characters such as Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, and others, where he answered children’s questions about the coronavirus.
“I took care of that for you,” Fauci said about vaccinating Santa. “Because I was worried that you’d all be upset. So what I did a little while ago, I took a trip up there to the North Pole. I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go. He can come down the chimney. He can leave the presents, he can leave, and you have nothing to worry about. Santa Claus is good to go.”
Fauci — who is head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — has served six presidents since 1984, and celebrates his 80th birthday on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve jingle
Since we now know that Santa will be making his rounds, join in the Christmas Eve jingle by stepping outside at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 and ringing a bell for two minutes. Not only will it welcome Santa and help guide his sleigh, it will lift the spirits of children young and old during what has been a difficult year for many people. Let’s end 2020 with some magic, hope, and more of that spirit of togetherness that has helped us over the past few months.
Spences Bridge raffle success
The Spences Bridge Community Club thanks all those who purchased tickets for their Christmas raffle, and Rick Brown, the Wyatt-Purdens, and The Packing House for contributing to the prizes. The raffle — which was held instead of the usual Christmas bazaar — raised $650 for the community club.
The winners were Mary Crossan (first prize; a Robert Bateman print); Joris Ekering (second prize; a goodie basket); Jack Charters (third prize; $50); and Edith Rubner (fourth prize; a $25 gift certificate for The Packing House restaurant).
Taking Care of Business
Community Future’s free Taking Care of Business Program brings funding and one-on-one support for training to eligible businesses and not-for-profits throughout Northern B.C. As an approved member, your business or not-for-profit will have access to free online workshops and webinars; professional business support; a Regional Business Liaison to assist you along the way; and the application portal for up to $7,500 in customized business training.
Business Membership includes the entire team: owners, managers, and employees. Once a business fills out a Membership Application form and is approved, it will receive a business membership number, which provides unlimited access to free “members only” webinars and online workshops for everyone on the team.
For more information go to https://www.takingcareofbusiness.biz/home/or call 1-855-682-4325.
CounterAttack now on
This year’s holiday CounterAttack campaign is in full swing, with police road checks set up across the province. ICBC and police are urging drivers to plan ahead and make smart decisions to get home safely this holiday season.
Although COVID-19 has changed many things, it hasn’t changed the law. If you plan to drink, don’t drive.
“We know celebrations will look different this holiday season,” says Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s vice-president of public affairs and driver licensing. “If you’ve been drinking at home, please stay home and don’t drive. When you drink and drive, you not only risk your life but those of others on the road. We all need to do our part to prevent crashes and save lives. If you plan to drink, plan ahead.”
Impaired driving remains a leading cause of fatal car crashes, with an average of 67 lives lost every year in B.C. (23 of them in the Southern Interior). More than half of impaired-related crashes (56 per cent) occur on the weekend (Friday to Sunday).
Take action on radon
Health Canada is encouraging Canadians to take the time to test their homes for radon.
Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. It can easily enter homes undetected through cracks and gaps in floors, walls, windows, and doors, and you can’t see, smell, or taste it. All homes and buildings have some level of radon.
It is not a question of “if” you have radon in your house; you do. The only question is how much, and the only way to know is to test. Every region in Canada has homes with elevated radon levels, while many Canadians are unaware of the risks that radon can pose to their health. It is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, leading to the deaths of more than 3,200 Canadians each year.
You can access information and resources by visiting https://takeactiononradon.ca/.
Christmas fun fact
There are many Christmas traditions and beliefs from all over the world. While some of them are known in many different countries, others are specific to one country or region.
Once such belief is from Dorset in southern England, and has been traced back as far as 1790. It says that at midnight on Christmas Eve the cattle in their fields and stables would kneel down in honour of the Christ-child who was born in a stable. English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, who was a countryman through and through, was familiar with the story from his own childhood, and in 1915, when he was 75 years old, wrote a poem about it called “The Oxen”, which was first published in The Times on Dec. 24, 1915. (Editor’s note: a “barton” is a farmyard, while a “coomb” is a valley or hollow.)
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel
“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.