Holidays

Santa Claus and magic night
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Dr. Fauci Assures Us That Santa Has "Innate Immunity" To COVID-19

So don't forget to leave out the milk and cookies!

You'd better watch out, better not cry, and better not pout: because Santa Claus is coming to town... and he doesn't have to quarantine for 14 days. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Santa Claus is immune to COVID-19 and therefore won't be prevented from his Christmas Eve mission of bringing joy – and presents – to children around the world.

In an interview with USA Today, the nation's top infectious disease expert revealed that "Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity." Hey, if anyone would know it's Dr. Fauci! And in a year of countless "unprecedented" events, surely we could all use this bit of good news as we head into the holidays.

There is precedent for this sort of thing. Earlier this year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that similarly whimsical houseguests – the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny – were cleared to do their jobs this year. "You will be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers," she told the children of New Zealand back in April. (Though she did let everyone know that the virus meant they're "potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies" and urged understanding if they couldn't make it to everyone's home.)

Of course, many of us probably suspected that Santa didn't have to worry about such worldly events as a global pandemic – it's one of the perks of being the immortal spirit of generosity. Still, it's comforting, I'm sure, for kids to know from such a knowledgeable authority figure that everything is going to be OK in a year that's taken so much from them. (And for parents to say "Even the top expert in the country says so!")

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The pandemic has forced us to ask a lot of our kids. They've had to give up in-person school, sports, birthday parties, vacations, playdates, and even seeing friends and family in many cases. We've had to explain the importance of masks and social distancing and washing their hands way more often than usual. And parents have, largely, been impressed with how much their kids have understood and done their part to fight the spread of COVID-19. So it makes sense, for children taking this so seriously (and in light of so many other important traditions being spoiled this year), that they would have concerns about Kris Kringle. Why is he allowed to come into our house? Especially after he's been in millions of other houses over the course of the night? Cases are on the rise... Is he really going to come? Because trick-or-treating was cancelled, too. How is this safe?

Well: it's safe because he's Santa! "Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody," Fauci assured us in his interview with USA Today. So go ahead and let your kids know that when it comes to Mr. Claus nothing, not even COVID-19, will keep him away.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.