Since social distancing is possible at the North Pole, Santa Claus is not likely to bring the coronavirus down your chimney on Christmas Eve. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, said Santa is immune to the virus. This means that at least one Christmas season tradition is unlikely to be upended due to the pandemic.
"Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity," Fauci explained to USA Today. Kids might have reason to fret since Santa's weight and age would mean he is at a higher risk of facing severe disease from COVID-19. Fauci said children do not need to fret though. "Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody."
Santa plans to take more meetings on Zoom and if he visits stores and malls, he will likely sit behind glass. "Santa does not want the kids to line up waiting to see him because he doesn't want to spread germs. Santa gets sad if the kids or their families are sick," Dr. Gina Song, a pediatrician at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, told USA Today. "So this year, Santa will be watching you from afar, giving you the gift of good health, and will only visit when no one is around on Christmas Eve."
During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Santa was sidelined, as reports at the time noted Santa's appearances at department stores were canceled. This proves Santa can get the flu, so it is important for both Santa and children to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. In the interim, Dr. Greg Poland of the Mayo Clinic told USA Today Santa canceled his Christmas party to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He suggests everyone do the same, especially if we are not feeling well. "Let's do the same thing that Santa and the elves are doing," Poland said. "We stay home if we’re not feeling well. When we go outside of the home, we wear a mask and wash our hands."
Fauci's rosy outlook for Santa came just a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a dire plea to Americans for the Thanksgiving holiday. Officials asked Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving or spend the holiday with those outside their household. "The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household," the CDC's Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz said, reports The Associated Press. She noted there were 1 million new coronavirus cases in the U.S. in the past week before the announcement.