AUSTIN, TEXAS (KXAN) — Downtown Austin looked like a Christmas like no other on Saturday evening.
Many Austinites spent their Christmas Day listening to the sound of the birds and seeing the paddle boarders down at Lady Bird Lake and Auditorium Shores on the fifth-warmest Christmas Day on record.
“We had to reschedule our trip back home,” said Rachel Madhur as she sat in her hammock at Auditorium Shores. “We were down about it, and I think the weather lifted up our spirits.”
Rachel and her significant other Sandeep spent their day lounging in the park with their dog on the 79-degree day.
“I was just thinking, maybe this is a gift from the heavens after the freeze,” Rachel said. “I mean it’s incredible, I love it.”
There were plenty of short shorts and shirts off Saturday afternoon. For some, it’s a familiar sight.
“I’m from Jamaica. I’m used to it being like this. I’m not used to winter and all that stuff,” said Stredwick Watson, who was out walking with his daughter.
Austin Public Health authorities have a warning, however. It’s the height of the “cedar fever” season, and when you combine that with COVID, you have a whole lot of confusion.
According to Austin’s Chief Epidemiplogist Janet Pichette, local contact tracers report that an overwhelming number of people testing positive before the holidays thought they were simple experiencing cedar fever or other seasonal allergies when they could have been speaking COVID-19.
Austin Public Health’s message is to get tested.
“I’ve been taking meds and doing everything I have to do, so far, so good,” Sandeep said.
For many, it’s a Christmas to remember.
“This is how I want Christmas to be like all the time,” Rachel said.