Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

This column was contributed by San Benito Live founder and District 2 Supervisor-elect Kollin Kosmicki. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.

With the New Year’s Day holiday coming during the most severe stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic, I strongly urge San Benito County residents to avoid gatherings and look out for one another as we end 2020. 

It goes without saying, this year has been extraordinarily difficult. Our lives have been disrupted. Many local families have endured sickness and visits to the hospital, while some of our residents have lost their lives to this terrible disease. 

As of Monday morning, there had been 3,394 confirmed cases, 549 active cases, 26 deaths and 19 active hospitalizations with three patients in the ICU. Those numbers are troubling enough without considering that we are in the midst of a notable spike—with the total COVID-19 case number doubling since Nov. 20. 

Although there is much debate about the pandemic response and restrictions, science and facts dictate that gathering for a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day celebration is a serious risk for individuals and the community as a whole. 

If you are considering whether to take this risk for yourself and our community, I am here to plead with you: Please think again and do the right thing. Stay at home for the New Year and find other ways, outside of physically gathering with others, to enjoy the holiday. 

Choosing to gather not only puts yourself and others at risk of sickness and death, but it also places our county in a more precarious position moving forward as it pertains to fully reopening our economy and getting our children back in classrooms where they belong. 

We all want to return to a sense of normalcy again. We all want to enjoy going out to restaurants, stores, the beach, birthday parties or holiday gatherings without anxieties about COVID-19. With vaccines being distributed over the first half of 2021, we are almost to the finish line and need to remain as patient as possible for just a few more months. 

Please think of it this way as we end 2020: Staying home from a New Year’s celebration and avoiding gatherings will most certainly help our community avoid a more disastrous COVID-19 case spike than we are currently experiencing. It also may save a life, even your own.


Kollin Kosmicki is supervisor-elect for District 2 in San Benito County. He is a longtime local journalist who cares deeply about this community. Kosmicki lives in the San Juan Bautista area with his wife...