Omicron variant forcing some to reconsider holiday plans

The signs of the season are everywhere! The bright lights! The beautiful decorations! 

So many are looking forward to being with family and friends on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

That’s certainly the case for Mary Hillman, who says, "We were just starting to get our life back when omicron hit."

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Hillman of Burbank has her tree and gifts ready, but so is her desire to be with family for Christmas.

While there are people who have written FOX11 to say they’ve canceled gatherings or trips, like Sol Flores. He says he was supposed to go to Alaska but can’t now. 

There are others like Arnold Miranda who wrote he’s "not living in fear over this."

He pushes back at the notion of changing plans. One who is not scoffing at suggestions that concerns over COVID-19 right now are overblown is Mary Hillman. 

She says, "I have preexisting conditions. My other family members also have preexisting conditions, so we don’t want the breakthrough."

She knows more about COVID-19 than she’d like. Her last big family Christmas was 2018. 

"We had grandpa there," she says. "And he died of COVID." 

That was about a year and a half ago. For Christmas 2020, the closest she got to her grandson was the hand sign for "I love you" pressed on his window. 

This year? She’s purchased COVID tests for everyone in the family to be sure they’ll all feel safe and have fun.

Dr. Bernie Klein, the CEO of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center likes what Hillman is doing. 

He says, "I think it’s a smart way to keep her family and loved ones safe." 

Klein says they are making plans for as much as a possible tripling of the 20-some patients they have hospitalized right now for COVID. 

Klein says, "We’re concerned about a potential surge. In fact, we’re already seeing our numbers increase. And, so we are making plans; securing extra PPE’s and medications to be sure we have the stock on hand to treat everybody safely."