Dear Santa Claus,

While I understand that your home is melting and you do not have many Christmases left, it is most imperative that you stay in the North Pole this year. Until the COVID-19 vaccine is released to the public, unnecessary travel for anyone is gravely irresponsible. Entering the home of every Christmas-celebrating child in the entire world in one night is a superspreader event waiting to happen. While you may be concerned that all Christmas joy will be lost, please do not worry. All joy, spirit, and celebration have already been canceled for 2020.

You may believe you’re being COVID-safe; however, those of us in the south cannot ensure you are enforcing social-distancing protocols in your workshop. Your workers are so embedded in the Christmas-capitalist complex that they live in the same place they work, making quarantine and contact tracing nearly impossible. If Glitzy McJingles contracts COVID-19 and acts like a cotton-headed ninny muggin, exposing the entire Barbie Career Doll Department to the virus, will you provide the facilities to self-isolate? Do you have a robust enough healthcare system to support them? Or will they be left in the dainty hands of EMT Barbie? Mr. Claus, your flying reindeer carry you around the world in 24 hours, but can your research reindeer return COVID test results that quickly?

We have learned so much about coronavirus and preventing its spread among humans, but we do not know how these findings apply to elves. Their small, compact bodies and minuscule lungs may be more severely impacted by the virus, and, given their pea-like eardrums, they will have to scream to hear each other from six feet away. Even with burlap sacks-turned-masks, this will lead to a dangerous increase in airborne droplets. There have also been reports of pets carrying COVID-19, and I do not trust your ability to stop community spread among your reindeer. You blatantly overlooked the possible illnesses causing Rudolph’s bright red nose and profited from a lack of treatment. It is clear that public health and safety is not your priority.

Mr. Claus, this is about your risk level, too. The virus affects the elderly most severely and you are 1,749 years old. Your diet consists mainly of baked goods. I don’t even want to think about how low your Vitamin D levels are by December, what with the lack of sunlight in the North Pole. And handling all that coal cannot be good for your lungs. Frankly, your odds don’t look great.

And even if your case is mild, think of those you might infect. Forgive me if this is insensitive, but I must ask how you plan to fit a face mask over your thick, ungroomed, monstrous beard. Virus particles will get trapped in the untamed mess and shake loose as you shimmy down an innocent family’s chimney. You will remove your mask to eat the milk and cookies left for you by a child. You will choke on a crumb. You will cough. You will spray dozens of contaminated droplets around the house. The child will get one pair of Circle Society JoJo Siwa Roller Skates for a lifetime of respiratory damage. I ask you, is it worth it?

The greatest gift anyone could receive this Christmas is not having coronavirus. While some may believe those on the naughty list deserve infection, that would endanger those on the nice list. So, I must ask that you abstain from your duties this year. To keep you accountable, the Grinch has agreed to monitor your activity in the North Pole. He has been socially distancing on top of Mount Crumpit since long before the start of the pandemic and will stay a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole length away from others at all times. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sila Puhl