A Family Doctor in Steinbach is saying your Easter family gatherings should look different this year.

Doctor Curtis Krahn acknowledges the tendency of people to get together during this holiday and, in light of the novel coronavirus, is imploring them not to do so.

“We think that in the next couple of weeks, the number of cases is going to increase dramatically and we feel that Easter is, unfortunately, going to be a time in which there is a lot of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.”

No matter what your annual traditions look like, Krahn says, ideally, families and friends should refrain from meeting in-person at all.

“And that’s a tough thing,” he admits, “because we recognize that Easter is a very important event for people.”

Krahn encourages his fellow Manitobans to be creative and find ways of spending time with their loved ones that do not require a physical presence.

Steinbach resident Sherril Reimer says her family is planning to do just that. While the government is still technically permitting groups of 10 people or less, Reimer believes the best way of slowing the spread of the pandemic is to avoid grouping at all.

Perhaps the most obvious solution to this problem is online video conferencing, and Reimer agrees. However, she says video chats can consist of more than simply talking heads. Reimer’s kids have moved away from home and so conversing over Google Chat has become customary. Since the onset of COVID-19, she says her family has become much more intentional about their digital meetings and has engineered a few of their own unique memories in the process.

“We played Scategories over video which was really quite fun and worked tremendously,” recalls Reimer, “and we also did a slide show where we all looked at the same pictures and reminisced and told stories.”

This season’s Easter celebrations may not resemble those from years past but Reimer believes it can still be an opportunity to do something special with the people you love the most.