Groundhog Day 2021: A Holiday Like No Other


Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Note: The following is a piece of satire, but the ideas behind the piece are all too real…

Fans of Groundhog Day eagerly awaited Tuesday, February 2 to see something unique; Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog, wore a mask this year.

Phil has an inner circle with fifteen members that are in charge of planning the Groundhog Day ceremonies. This year, the inner circle issued new COVID guidelines, even for Phil.

“I was shocked when I heard that Phil was going to have to use claw sanitizer,” one Groundhog day enthusiast said. “I mean, can a groundhog even get the virus?”

The burning question on everyone’s mind is exactly that: could Phil get the virus? The answer is maybe. However, based on the inner circle’s spontaneous and inconclusive studies about groundhogs and COVID, they felt that there was a need for action.

“We were worried about Phil getting the virus before Groundhog Day,” the inner circle said in a statement. “But since the ceremonies are over now, and the punch drinking ceremony is coming up soon, it’s definitely not as big a deal.”

What is this special punch? According to tradition, Punxsutawney Phil has been alive for 134 years to date and drinks “Punxsutawney Punch” every couple of years to extend his lifespan. Groundhogs have an average lifespan of 6-8 years on the high end. Seeing as how there is only one Phil, this punch truly works miracles.

Groundhog’s day ceremonies are always exciting for die-hard Phil fans, but there’s a different reason to be excited this year.

“All the serious fans here in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania are looking forward to the new merchandise,” an anonymous fan said. “Personally, I’m going to get the ‘I Heart Phil’ mask.”

Under clear skies, Phil saw his shadow this year and foreshadowed the end of COVID-19 in a mere six weeks. According to Groundhog Day tradition, Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are never wrong.

“I’m absolutely sure this pandemic will end in six weeks,” a supporter said firmly. “Even if it’s something like a meteor destroying Earth.”

Many passionate supporters of Phil and his inner circle held a serious debate with the CDC about whether the pandemic would end in six weeks, but nothing was decided.

When Phil isn’t making annual weather predictions, he is said to live in the town library in his luxurious, private burrow. Visitors can see him anytime the library is open. In fact, a popular attraction is sticking your hand in Phil’s burrow and seeing if you can get him to come out.

Groundhog Day traditions have held up for as long as the holiday has been around, but maybe new traditions forged in the midst of a pandemic will stick around as well.