Montserrat Parello lost her husband eight years ago, and Christmas gatherings with children and grandchildren had helped her deal with her loneliness. But this year, the 83-year-old will be alone for the holiday at her home in Barcelona, due to the risk of infection from the coronavirus.
“In these days of pandemic, I feel loneliness and anger,” Parello said, expressing fears that “I will leave this life devoid of affection, of warmth.”
All most people wanted for Christmas after this year of pandemic uncertainty and chaos was some cheer and togetherness. Instead many are heading into a season of isolation, grieving lost loved ones, worried about their jobs or confronting the fear of a new potentially more contagious virus variant.
Residents of London and surrounding areas can’t see people outside their households. Peruvians won’t be allowed to drive their cars over Christmas and New Year to discourage visits even with nearby family and friends. South Africans won’t be able to go to the beach on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
The patchwork of restrictions being imposed by local and national governments across the world varies widely — but few holiday seasons will look normal this year.