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With COVID-19 cases rising and travel restrictions, the holiday season may be difficult

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 20:04:03-04

CLEVELAND — With no vaccine yet and cases rising, people looking ahead to fall, winter and the holidays may be feeling the blues at the thought of a toned-down holiday season without seeing family, traveling or getting together.

People in Cleveland Friday expressed their concerns and frustrations about everything that is going on.

Joyce Williams said she doesn’t plan to travel because of COVID-19 and that because of her age she “could easily get sick and not recover.”

She said she’d rather be safe than sorry.

“People are dying, Things aren't getting any better. They are getting worse,” Williams said.

Quinton Turpin said his family also plans to stay home and that he believes the travel advisories are necessary.

“In order for us to stay safe and not be a spreader and not spread the virus amongst other people, we have to stay in a travel ban and stay focused, stay within our bubble,” Turpin said.

But all the restrictions are weighing on many people.

“It's a struggle, and mental health-wise, it's been a hard year for a lot of people,” one young woman, Nia, told News 5.

Jeremy Baldwin of Cleveland Heights said his family usually does a local Thanksgiving celebration with other family members, “but my guess is this year is going to be a little bit different.”

He added, “My particular family is pretty concerned about public health and our personal health. [We’ve] got some older folks who are still doing great and safe. But we want to keep them that way, so I think this year we're going to err on the side of safety.”

Baldwin noted it’s been challenging for his family to balance working from home while the kids are doing remote learning.

“I really look forward to them being able to go back to school in a safe way, and so, wear your masks people,” Baldwin said.

For Northeast Ohioans like Baldwin, and many all across the country, it has been a difficult year, trying to adjust to COVID-19 and the changes it’s brought.

“It's such a time of uncertainty,” said Dr. Tyffani Dent, a licensed psychologist.

Dent said this has been a difficult time period for many people as everyone continues to cope with and adapt to so many different challenges.

“We're looking forward to that break of being able to see your family, being able to be out more. So it was this light at the end of the tunnel. And now the tunnel just keeps going,” Dent said of the upcoming holiday season.

She urged people to take care of themselves, utilizing “meditation, exercise, things that you're able to continue to do during this time and being able to identify and embrace those things while still engaging in the practices that we're hearing from the CDC that are going to help this.”

Dent said that the change in seasons, coupled with the ongoing frustration and anxiety over COVID-19, means we have to prepare emotionally to continue living like this.

“Understanding what you can control and what you can’t, making alternative plans,” Dent said. “So if you're being told, ‘I’m planning on going to see my family,’ but now we're at least getting some idea that maybe they can't. How do you then plan to get connected with your family during the holidays and having those alternative plans?”

That’s what some people in Northeast Ohio are trying to do.

Corinna Massaro is sad she can’t travel, since her daughter lives in New York City, but she is trying to make the best of it.

“Collaboration tools, you know, Zoom calls, FaceTiming and that's all we can do right now,” Massaro said.

Asked how she would carve turkey over a Zoom call, Massaro joked, “I don't know if I'm going to have turkey, but I guess I'll just slice it up and it'll be virtual. It’ll be virtual slicing.”

Another man, David Cook, said, “I hope and I think that we basically have to wait until the vaccine comes and that once that is available sometime, hopefully early next year, that people get vaccinated and life will slowly get back to normal once the population is safe again.”

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