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Boonville residents give reasons for caution during Christmas holidays

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

Boonville’s Matt Rowlett will have a different kind of Christmas this year.

With his entire family quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rowlett said it’s undetermined what’s going to happen because his family has to be in isolation until December 27.

Rowlett is one of two athletic trainers at Mizzou Therapy Services in Boonville. His family may meet up and celebrate after Christmas, but it depends on if no one else has to quarantine.  

“Right now it’s undetermined but we’ll celebrate as a family ourselves under our roof, but going outside of our house at this time we are kind of unsure on that is going to move forward," he said. 

Some traditional Christmas celebrations may be a thing of the past due to the pandemic, which has affected over 200 million people in the United States.

Cooper County has seen its fare share of cases since March. There are 1,479 total as of Dec. 16. Of those, 81 are active. There has been eight deaths and six people are hospitalized. Most have recovered however. 

Boonville R-I Superintendent Dr. Sarah Marriott still will be able to have a fairly traditional Christmas as most of her family live close by and she gets to see them on  a regular basis. Cautions still will be taken. 

Her younger sister and her family, who live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will not be able to travel, Marriott said. 

“She and her husband manage a (medical equipment) company and are inundated with hospital needs,” Marriott said. “We will also have to take some additional health precautions to protect and keep my grandmother healthy during the holidays. We are very fortunate to all be healthy at this time.”

Christmas will be a quiet affair for Boonville Mayor Ned Beach. Some of his family are in isolation recovering from COVID-19. That is keeping them in the house, he said. 

“We will be careful and yet absolutely celebrate Jesus’ birthday,” he said. 

Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker tries to balance the winter break between family in Boonville and in northeast Missouri. It will be different this year with the basketball season on hold at the high school. The next time the team can gather on the court is Saturday, however. 

“After spending time with my wife and kids on Christmas Day, I will be using the rest of the break getting the Lady Pirates back on the court and preparing them for the second half of the season,” Hunziker said.

Mona Brownfield, a local doctor who has a daughter playing on the team said their holiday behavior has changed due to COVID-19. 

“It is important to protect our older population from COVID,” she said. “When weather permits we are planning on dropping gifts at our friends and relatives doors. Then, we will have a family Zoom or FaceTime to open gifts and visit. We have all bought matching Christmas pajamas and will wear them to watch the Christmas Eve mass virtually from home around the Christmas tree.”