Image by Jonathan Meath/Victor Tangermann

Last Thursday, as many as 50 kids were likely exposed to COVID-19 by Santa and Mrs. Clause impersonators at a photo-op in Georgia.

The jolly old couple didn't display any symptoms during the event, but both tested positive for the coronavirus just two days later, according to NBC News. That suggests, given the coronavirus' incubation period, that the two were sick during the appearance when they were breathing on the kiddies.

The debacle is yet another illustration of the peril of public gatherings as the pandemic continues to spread unabated throughout the country.

And yet, in a public statement about the exposure in his own community, Robert Parker, chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Long County, Georgia, defended the idea of holding a parade and photo-op. Throughout the entire statement, NBC notes that Parker chose to downplay the risk that the exposure posed.

"While this is cause for concern, I feel that it is important to note that exposures happen every day as we go about our day to day lives, often without any knowledge," Parker wrote.

Needless to say, Parker's stance that there are "countless underprivileged children who would never have experienced the joy of meeting Santa Claus" seems a bit dubious.