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A Season Of Fear, Not Cheer, As Virus Changes Christmas

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FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2020, file photo, Tessa Boulton, left, takes a swab test from Michael Kruse, dressed as Santa Claus, at a coronavirus testing center at the Helios Clinic in Schwerin, Germany. All most people wanted for Christmas after this year of pandemic was some cheer and togetherness. Instead many are heading into a season of isolation, grieving lost loved ones, experiencing uncertainty about their jobs or confronting the fear of a potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus. (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP, File)

(AP)–All most people wanted for Christmas after this year of pandemic uncertainty and sadness was some cheer and togetherness. Instead many are heading into a season of isolation, grieving lost loved ones, worried about their jobs or confronting the fear of a potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

Residents of London can’t see people outside their households. Peruvians won’t be allowed to drive their cars over Christmas and New Year to discourage visits. South Africans won’t be able to go to the beach over Christmas. The patchwork of restrictions being imposed by local and national governments across the world varies widely — but few holiday seasons will look normal this year.

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