Staying Safe this Holiday Season

Dear Construction Stops COVID Allies, 

During the holiday season we typically enjoy the cheer and warmth of gathering with our families and friends. This year, however, the best way to show our love and protect each other is to stay apart.  

COVID-19 is surging in Massachusetts again. As a result, even small gatherings of 10 people or less have a high likelihood of including someone who is sick with COVID-19 and can spread it to others. Often, people who are infectious may have no symptoms at all.  

We know that even in small gatherings where people are close together and not wearing masks, the virus spreads quickly. We are sharing with you one of many stories that we heard about after Thanksgiving: 

Relatives from four different households got together for a family dinner. There were a total of eight people there that night that had been taking precautions. Unfortunately, one of them, despite feeling well at the dinner, was already infectious. This resulted in seven of them becoming sick with COVID-19 and two of them requiring hospitalization. We can prevent stories like this from happening again.

You have the power to keep yourself and your family safe from COVID-19 this holiday season. For this reason, we implore you to cancel any gatherings you have planned with those outside your household. Please celebrate the holidays with just those you live with. Please do not travel to celebrate the holidays. Please do not invite others over to your house or visit other houses, even if that means not seeing loved ones in person this year.

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we have to continue to work hard together to prevent illness so that we can come out of this challenging time together. So please, reconsider any plans that you have as we near the end of 2020 to keep everyone at home, at work and in our communities safe — as we work together toward a brighter 2021. 

Share some time with your other family and friends on the phone or a video call so that next year we can all celebrate together again in person. 

For more information about how to stay safe at home from COVID-19 during the holidays, see: 

In solidarity, 

Greater Boston Building Trades Unions, as part of the Construction Stops COVID Coalition

COVID-19 doesn’t take holidays off

It’s really hard to not be with family during the holidays. But it’s even harder to see your loved ones get seriously ill.

After Thanksgiving, there was an outbreak of COVID-19. We observed what happened to those who attended one of those celebrations:

4 Houses Spreading COVID

4 families gather for a meal

11 in 15 Infected

11 of 15 family members infected, including some children

Covid Patient rushed to hospital

Elderly family member to ICU

4 Houses Spreading COVID

4 families gather for a meal

11 in 15 Infected

11 of 15 family members infected, including some children

Covid Patient rushed to hospital

Elderly family member to ICU

We can prevent this from happening again during the December holidays. There are so many ways to show your loved ones that you care.

Here are some great ways to have the happiest holiday you can!

Vaccines are on the way.

So why do we have to continue to wear masks, social distance, and not have social gatherings?

The only way we can avoid getting and giving COVID-19 to those around us is by achieving herd immunity. If about 75-85% of the population gets the vaccine, we’ll have herd immunity and be safe.

You’ll be able to get a vaccine, but those at higher risk will get theirs first.

Are these vaccines safe?

Short answer: Yes, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are thoroughly tested and approved by the FDA.

Longer answer: 

  • Both vaccines are almost 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID.
  • A small number of people who received the vaccine still get COVID-19. Those people  ended up getting much less sick than those who hadn’t gotten the vaccine.
  • Over 35,000 volunteers have received the approved vaccines during trials, and tens of thousands more have been vaccinated in the past week across the USA. A small number of people who took the vaccine had minor side effects, including mild pain or redness where they got the shot, chills, and/or body aches, similar to how some people feel after the flu shot
  • The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
vaccine phases 1 2 3

After I get the vaccine, can I stop wearing my mask, and be physically close to my friends and family who live outside my household?

Unfortunately, no, not yet. For 2 reasons:

  1. We don’t yet know if getting vaccinated prevents you from getting the virus in your nose (without symptoms) and spreading it to others.
  2. Until about 75-85% of the population receive the vaccine, we won’t have herd immunity.