Courtesy Danny Shanahan/The New Yorker
On Monday, I received a message in my inbox I did not expect. This was a Zoom invitation Mom sent to me and my sister with the topic as "Thanksgiving Family."
After looking through who else was CC'd in the email, it then became definite that we wouldn't be going to grandma and grandpa's house for Thanksgiving this year. This will be the first time I would remember not going. However, things have compounded.
With my mom staying home after coming into contact with someone who was COVID-positive, and with my sister not able to come home from Purdue, it just can't work. Thankfully, neither of them have gotten sick yet. We just don't want to take a chance.
Instead, we will all stay put to keep everyone healthy. Instead of gorging myself on a huge Thanksgiving turkey, I might have a glass or two (or three) of Wild Turkey 101. On the other hand, Gobin Church's drive-through meal pickup is a great thing. It is heartening to see community members helping neighbors make it just a little easier.
Needless to say, Thanksgiving this year will be turned on its head for a lot of us. There is reason to expect that Christmas won't be different. It's a sobering thought, perhaps.
As street lamps are lined with garland and the courthouse lawn is adorned with its light displays, we might find how we take the holidays as a whole -- a time for family and friends -- for granted. Having a virtual Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve seems too distant, too disconnected, too robotic. Nevertheless, it's a 2020 reality.
This year, it's trying to make the best out of this unnaturalness. The important thing here is being smart about your situation, and about the risks which you can manage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want us to stay home. However, this does not mean you can't celebrate in your household, as long as no one has COVID-19 or been exposed. People coming in from outside this unit, though, still do pose a risk.
At this juncture, we lay the ground rules. Basically, practice common sense. Do those things like wash you hands and keep from touching your face and eyes. These rules can include, yes, wearing masks, and limiting the number of attendees to your event.
The thing is we've gone beyond simply staying home being sick. This still isn't the flu.
Us freedom-loving Americans don't want to be told what to do. It is very well pointless to argue with that now. Regardless, it is still about being in control of your situation.
To this point, please reconsider going into wherever the Black Friday madness will be. Getting your department store deals on Cyber Monday just might be your safest bet.
As for me, I'll likely be catching up with my graduate schoolwork. I am getting into the homestretch, and I'm ready for it to be done -- maybe like how all of us are ready for 2020 to be over. It will be day by day, but we are getting there -- slowly and surely.
I wish you readers a Happy Thanksgiving, how ever you decide to celebrate. I hope that you and yours will keep well, and maybe find a little more meaning this holiday.