Covid Outbreaks in the North Pole Delay Christmas
Christmas has been delayed in certain countries after the Omicron variant was found in the North Pole. Santa, who made many guest appearances at Santacons around the world, tested positive for Covid on December 23rd after attending the super-spreader event. After returning home, Santa was in close contact with all of his reindeer. So far, only Rudolph and Comet have tested positive, but all the reindeer are in self-isolation, except when delivering presents.
All the reindeer have been double vaccinated, and most have booster shots as well. While pulling Santa’s sled, the reindeer have asked for extended reins so they can remain 6 ft apart.
According to the new CDC guidelines for reindeer, all the reindeer on the sled this year must also wear special n-95 masks that are built to fit over a reindeer’s mouth.
After being exposed to covid, a few reindeer felt it wasn’t safe to pull the sled this year. Rudolph confided in an exclusive interview, “It was a very difficult decision, but out of an abundance of caution and discussions with the reindeer, we decided it was best if I didn’t join the others to deliver presents this year.” He added, “I haven’t missed a single christmas since the Reindeer boycott of 1492 where we protested the treatment of Jews in the Spanish Inquisition. We even managed to safely deliver gifts during the flu epidemic last century, so it’s been very difficult for me to sit out this year, but I know it’s for the best.” Rudolph has been asymptomatic, but Comet has lost his taste of smell and a few other reindeers have covid symptoms, despite testing negative on their at-home rapid tests.
“This has been a very scary time for us. We’re all very glad that Santa recovered to deliver some gifts this year, but we had to stop before we covered the entire globe because he wasn’t feeling well enough to continue."
According to another reindeer who chose to remain anonymous, “This has been a very scary time for us. We’re all very glad that Santa recovered to deliver some gifts this year, but we had to stop before we covered the entire globe because he wasn’t feeling well enough to continue. You know, going down chimneys even without covid is exhausting, especially at his age. We’re all hoping Mrs. Claus will stay healthy and remain covid negative. The Clauses are getting old, so some of the reindeer worry about how covid will affect Mr. and Mrs. Claus.”
After a labor shortage this holiday season, the weeks leading up to Christmas were already a stressful time in the North Pole. My anonymous source said that at one point, after an earlier covid outbreak at Santa’s factory, the board of directors of the factory even asked Santa to postpone Christmas until early January because of the shortage of elves to make and wrap presents. Luckily, the factory was able to hire temporary replacements from Amazon.
In addition to an elf shortage, there is also a general reindeer shortage. Due to climate change, reindeer struggle to find enough protein-rich foods to develop the strength to pull Santa’s loaded sled. The Christmas reindeer auditions and training camps this year had record low numbers.
“For the past decade, the number of reindeer who make it past the auditions to qualify for sled-pulling has been decreasing. It was especially low this year, and when you factor in quarantine procedures for reindeer who were exposed to covid, the low numbers of eligible reindeer to pull the sled were worrying."
I was able to interview one of Santa’s retired reindeer who leads the training camps each year, who shared,“For the past decade, the number of reindeer who make it past the auditions to qualify for sled-pulling has been decreasing. It was especially low this year, and when you factor in quarantine procedures for reindeer who were exposed to covid, the low numbers of eligible reindeer to pull the sled were worrying. Due to vaccine mandates in certain countries, we cannot let unvaccinated reindeer pull the sled, so it was difficult to fill the sled quotas this year. We had to accept some sub-prime candidates in order to reach minimum power, and the sled was slower than usual this year.”
This reindeer refused to confirm whether this mediocre reindeer line-up also contributed to the decision to extend the deliveries past Christmas. Another spokesperson for Santa said that he will finish delivering all the gifts by New Year’s Eve. He refused to comment on the mask etiquette on Santa’s sled, and we can only hope that Santa wore a N95 mask while inside other people’s houses.
Hopefully by next Christmas, this pandemic will be in the past and presents will be delivered as usual on Christmas Eve. As a Jew, I can only conclude that Hanukkah is a superior winter holiday, as it doesn’t rest in the hands of an old white man who makes reckless and risky decisions in the covid era.