MIAMI – Portraying Santa Claus in the Coronavirus Age requires many precautions.
Being over 60 and chunky might make for a perfect Santa, but could also signal the kinds of underlying physical conditions that lead to serious complications from the virus.
That has Santas this year wearing masks and face shields, sitting behind glass or visiting with children online. One thing few are doing: putting children on their laps for face-to-face conversations.
The pandemic is hurting many Santas — not only financially with reduced performances, but emotionally.
The men who portray St. Nick say they like bringing joy to children. That’s hard to do when sitting behind a glass.
Bass Pro Shops is one of the businesses that are still bringing Santa into their stores this year, but like others, he is sitting behind a glass partition and wearing a face shield, and children or families can have their photo taken just in front of him.
Those who visit Santa at any Bass Pro store will receive a free 4x6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free shareable video when you provide your email address. Additional photo packages are also available for purchase.