AUSTIN, TEXAS (KXAN) – Downtown Austin looked like a Christmas like no other on Saturday night.
Many Austinites spent their Christmas day listening to birdsong and seeing the boarders at Lady Bird Lake and Auditorium Shores on the fifth hottest Christmas day on record.
âWe had to postpone our trip home,â said Rachel Madhur as she sat in her hammock at Auditorium Shores. “We were depressed about it, and I think the weather has cheered us up.”
Rachel and her partner Sandeep spent their day lounging in the park with their dog on the 79 degree day.
âI was just thinking, maybe this is a godsend after the frost,â Rachel said. “I mean, it’s amazing, I love it.”
There were plenty of short shorts and shirts on Saturday afternoon. For some it is a familiar sight.
âI am from Jamaica. I’m used to it being like that. I’m not used to winter and all that, âsaid Stredwick Watson, who was walking with his daughter.
Austin public health officials have a warning, however. This is the height of ‘cedar fever’ season, and when you combine that with COVID, you have a lot of confusion.
According to Austin’s chief epidemiologist Janet Pichette, local contact tracers report that an overwhelming number of people who tested positive before the holidays thought they were simply suffering from cedar fever or other seasonal allergies while ‘they could have talked about COVID-19.
Austin Public Health’s message is to get tested.
âI took meds and did everything I had to do, so far everything is fine,â Sandeep said.
For many, it is an unforgettable Christmas.
âThis is how I want Christmas to be like all the time,â Rachel said.