No Place Like Home for the Holidays! — December 22, 2020

December 22, 2020
Dear Friend:
I hope you are staying safe as 2020 comes to a close. COVID-19 may have changed how we spread holiday cheer, but it can’t take the spirit out of the season. It’s fun to see festive lights and listen to seasonal music. It’s been said that there’s no place like home for the holidays, and luckily that’s the safest place to be during this pandemic!
“Merry-land Festivities”
Though this holiday season is limited because of the Coronavirus, there are still many ways to celebrate safely in our own backyards! Consider the following:
Sharing the Love
Spread the joy this holiday season by donating to a local nonprofit organization of your choice. There are more than 32,000 nonprofits registered with the IRS in Maryland! These organizations are an essential part of our economy; have been vital for community survival during the pandemic; and make up more than 10% of our workforce. If not money, consider donating your time by volunteering for an organization with a mission that motivates you. 
Heading to Annapolis
The 442nd Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene on January 13, 2021 at noon. With abundant safety protocols, I look forward to being with my colleagues again! We will address the fiscal, health, environmental, and civil rights crises facing our State. Watch for e-mails in the new year with my legislative priorities.
Managing the Virus
At long last, COVID vaccines are being distributed and administered to our most vulnerable populations. Yesterday, I sent a letter to the Secretary of Health, urging him to include our “First First Responders,” in phase 1A of vaccine distribution. While everyone rightfully focuses on police, fire, and paramedics, our courageous 9-1-1 Specialists must be protected as well.
“Kibbitzing with Kagan”
In a recent episode of “Kibbitzing with Kagan,” I chatted with Cheryl Bost (President, MD State Education Association) about the challenges of virtual teaching. Ann Mazur (CEO, EveryMind) and I discussed mental health care– especially in the midst of both a pandemic and the holiday season. Please be sure that you and your loved ones are aware of mental health resources and practice self-care!
For more information, you can follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. And, you can always send questions or comments to me via email.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: Celebrating the holiday with family and friends? Consider getting tested at one of these local sites.