Tuesday, November 10, 2020
We are going to get a bit serious here on ye ol’ blog. Thanksgiving is almost here and I have heard lots of people talking about their plans or lack thereof. I think all of us are in the same boat (Mayflower reference?); all of our states’ numbers seem to be getting worse. What is the cause of this? In my area, everyone – and I mean everyone is wearing masks. Some even wear them outside to walk. I do see some wearing them not quite correctly, but the effort is really good around here. Now, I really do not go many places but the effort is commendable on the part of the citizens and the businesses.
I am calling this a dilemma because in my case we cannot carry on business as usual. I am not here to judge anyone else because only you know your circle of people and maybe your whole extended family has been your quaranteam. Or, maybe you are all isolating to the same degree.
Some say the numbers are up but the deaths are down. Still, I do not want anyone sick or compromised and any death is too many, you know? Some say it is due to colleges being in session, some k-12 schools being in session (in my city only the private schools are in session and most are only going a couple of days a week), some sports being allowed to be played, backyard parties, eating in restaurants, you name it. I really do not know. I would say it could be a combo of any and all.
I know some states – California is one I think – are trying to regulate Thanksgiving festivities. Kentucky might try, as well. For California, I heard something about outdoors only, no more than three households, music can be played but only by one of the three households (not a fourth), and only woodwind instruments. Guys, I cannot make that up even if I tried. Darn it – I really wanted to hear a flute this year! Sorry -just trying to bring a bit of levity to a hard situation.
I think we need to use common sense. My family has not made set plans yet, by the way. We have started talking but no definite plans are on the table. Our tradition has been Thursday at my sister-in-lawś house with Tomś side of the family and Friday in Indiana with my side of the family. That way we get to see everyone!
Here are some ideas:
If it is going to be too hard or uncomfortable, involves too much travel or compromising positions, then it is ok to have Thanksgiving with just immediate family this year or just make up your own tradition for 2020!
The immunocompromised/elderly folks in the family should be asked their comfort level.
A meal could be delivered to the folks that live in town but choose not to participate if they are comfortable with that. Many restaurants are doing single serve or small serving carryout meals, too.
They are saying that smaller groups and shorter time frames are helpful. Pick your favorite family members and make it an eat and run. Just kidding! I was just making sure you were still reading.
Effort can be made to eat outside. You can open a garage door. You can be more casual this year and use camp chairs to spread out. You can use paper plates. The kids might think this is really fun. Some of these changes might stick.
This is a temporary (we hope) problem. It is o.k. to break tradition this year for safety. I have heard many people say that this has forced creativity and that has been a blessing.
Have only one family unit serve themselves at a time and then take plates outside.
Wear masks while inside making plates. Only take mask off when outside and distanced.
Have one person wearing a mask prepare plates and one person deliver them outside.
Use crockpots and put them on a table in open garage for better ventilation.
Make a bonfire and maybe start a new tradition. Toast marshmallows to top the pumpkin pie, anyone? Roast your own sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows? Turkey dogs over the fire?
What other ideas do you have for safety? What have you and your family decided to do?
On my side of the family we have different schools of thought within our four households. We have two that think it is no big deal to get together. We have two with kids going to in person school. We have one that is extremely worried. And, then we have me who is kind of in between. I think it can be done safely but I plan to take precautions.
Here are my biggest takeaways:
Do not judge/criticize/make fun of someone in the family who is being cautious. ¨Ha ha – you are wearing a mask!”, for example, would be really inappropriate.
Do not get angry with someone who chooses not to partake.
If people feel safer wearing a mask, that is fine.
Talk to family now to find out comfort levels and discuss expectations.
Make every effort to social distance and be outside or in a well ventilated area.
Do I think you should get tested? The only way this works is if you get tested and then go nowhere or do anything until the day of your family get together. So, I do not know. That could leave to a false sense of security.
As with everything in life, try to focus on what you can do and not what you cannot.
I cannot wait to discuss this in the comments!