WARMINGTON: Fully-boosted Santa, reindeer cleared to fly, says Dr. Tam

Even on the NORAD Santa tracker, Santa is seen flying around the world wearing a surgical mask

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There’s no need to check Santa Claus’s vaccine passport as he comes down the chimney because Canada’s chief public health doctor says he’s fully vaccinated.

Vouching for Ole’ St. Nick, Dr. Theresa Tam posted a social media video assuring children, in this time of surging COVID-19 cases, Santa is good to go.

“Hi kids, just popping in with an update to let you know everything is shaping up nicely for Christmas Eve,” said Tam, decked out in a holiday sweater with Christmas tree lights. “Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the eligible elves have had all their boosters shots.”

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So they are part of the acceptable class and not one of those unvaccinated outcasts. But just to be extra sure he doesn’t contract COVID-19 or a variant Tam added “Santa is well kitted out in the best layers of protection. His mask is well fitted and his sleigh is naturally ventilated” and “I am happy to report Santa has an all clear for takeoff.”

This must be a relief for children worrying Santa would fall into the category of not being able to fly, or enter a restaurant, because of vaccine mandates.

Tam didn’t mention if he had his hand sanitizer on board or if he’s wearing protective gloves, or if it’s okay to enter a house with more than five residents.

You know things are surreal when the same doctor encouraging limited contact with family and friends is messaging to children to get tested and vaccinated by drawing on Santa himself.

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But since Batman, Polkaroo and Raptors and Maple Leafs mascots have all been spotted at mass vaccination clinics, using superheroes seems to be trendy in social conditioning messaging.

Even on the NORAD Santa tracker, Santa is seen flying around the world wearing a surgical mask.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

The question for parents is how do you feel about this approach? Is it good for kids’ mental health to use Santa like this during a pandemic Christmas, or should he be off-limits and let the kids enjoy a regular Christmas without pushing COVID-19 and vaccine narratives?

Of course, the pandemic has already seen masked Santas behind Plexiglas or posing for photos with kids kept two metres away, so it’s not like the bearded man in red hasn’t been affected by these troubling times.

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My vote is to leave Santa out of the pandemic and let kids salvage some semblance normalcy from their childhood — but I know there are different points of view on this.

Tam took things further in her Christmas Eve message by reporting “all of the reindeer are healthy and symptom free, but just to be extra sure Rudolph has had his COVID-19 test just to make sure his red nose is not a COVID-19 concern.”

While it hadn’t occurred to my nine-year-old son that Omicron could cross the species barrier to reindeer, in her video Tam checked in with Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo to see how Rudolph’s rapid test went.

“I can confirm the results are negative and he is free and clear to guide the sleigh on Christmas Eve,” said Njoo.

That is a relief.

It would have been problematic if Santa and his reindeer had to quarantine for 14 days and not be able to deliver kids their presents.

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