2020 was defined by the coronavirus, with ever-increasing infection rates during December leading up to Christmas. This year’s Advent differs from what we’ve previously been used to. Thanks to our disciplined citizens and timely preventive measures taken by the city leadership, it seems that the epidemic situation in Budapest has improved, yet we cannot let our guard down. Every day many people fall sick with their families left worried about them not having access to adequate updates about the situation of their relatives. Sadly, many more may never see again their parents, grandparents, siblings or maybe even their own children.
The pandemic after having overwritten our plans for Easter and for other family celebrations, is also changing the way we prepare for and celebrate Christmas. Even though, based on current statistics, we might get a little optimistic, we cannot expect the danger to subside before Christmas. Experts must lead the way, and we can only hope that the government will listen to them as well. We have to prepare ourselves, that this year the holidays will be completely different from the years before. The greatest gift of all might be the fact that next year we can all celebrate together in good health with our loved ones.
Planning out our Christmas shopping is “doctor recommended”. It is a good idea to invest an experience that we can later share with our loved ones after the danger posed by the pandemic has passed. Theatre or cinema vouchers, thermal spa gift certificates, discounts and gift cards offered by the Zoo and by a wide range of other providers can serve as an excellent present, all the while supporting the above-mentioned facilities.
In his video message, Gergely Karácsony asked all citizens of Budapest, to pay attention to themselves and to others. “I kindly ask you all to avoid situations that promote the spread of the virus. Please make sure to buy Christmas presents in time.”
The Mayor of Budapest also asked everyone to try to shop at times, when there are fewer customers in shops or try to do their shopping online. Moreover, he highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses, where there is less of a crowd and who have found themselves in a difficult financial situation due to the pandemic.
“The citizens of Budapests have showed great disciple during the pandemic. I know very well that holding ourselves to restrictive measures in effect becomes even more challenging with the holidays approaching, but if we manage to stay strong, we will defeat the pandemic together and we will have someone to celebrate with next year as well.”