As predicted, COVID-19 death rates have increased since Thanksgiving due to people throwing caution to the wind and getting together for the holiday, when in reality the gatherings should have been kept very small. Out of town get togethers for the holidays is considered a no-no according to the experts.

As published by Mass Live's at least 689 people have died from complications from COVID-19 since Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, said Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday.

The governor does not want Massachusetts residents to make the same mistakes for the upcoming holidays and Baker made the following statement:

The holidays won’t be the same as they’ve been before,” he said Tuesday afternoon at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. “Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Year’s Eve, they simply can’t and for most people won’t be the same, but I’m here today to say that we really can’t have them be the kind of consequential event that Thanksgiving has been here in Massachusetts. We really do need the help of everybody to make sure that we don’t have a repeat.

Yes, it's been a tough year and yes, the holidays are going to be unique this year to say the least, but if we eventually want to get back to a somewhat normal way of life and avoid regressing back more steps, not to mention more deaths occurring; we have to take these suggestions and orders seriously and ride it out. We'll all benefit by keeping our gatherings minute and by keeping our distance. It will all be worth it come next year at this time when we are able to have full celebrations with our extended families and friends. In the meantime, we have to do our best to keep our loved ones healthy. Just keep in mind, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: