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.

A Thanksgiving plate from days of yesteryear

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!

Amy

22 thoughts on “The Thanksgiving Dilemma

  1. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I guess the discussion can also apply to Christmas. We will only invite MIL, she’s actually the only one we’re socializing with right now. Maybe we shouldn’t, since she’s 78, but…
    This virus is crazy! I read a Swedish newspaper placard (is that the right word?) yesterday, and it read: “1000 will die before Christmas” – how bizarre!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is true – it can apply to any celebration. I think it’s ok because how sad for her otherwise. Yes, that is correct and how can they really say that. Did you hear a vaccine is almost ready or ready with 90% efficacy?

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      1. Yes, I heard about the vaccine, and I’m very happy about it. I think it’s the only way to put an end to this crazy situation. How do Americans feel about vaccine? Will you take it? Last time we had an epidemic (swine flu in 2009), I got my shots from the school nurse, I guess it will be the same this time.

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      2. I am a little bit scared to try anything too new. When we had H1N1 I do not think we had a vaccine. My boys were in 2nd grade and I made them strip off school uniform at the back door. I was super scared about them getting it. We kept up that practice with uniforms and I think it kept many germs out of the house. We washed hands , too, of course and they took baths and showers. I miss those little 2nd graders. They sure thought I could do no wrong!
        I think most will take the vaccine but they say it will go to health care workers first. We do not have a school nurse.

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      3. BTW, I love this forum! It’s so nice to have a place where you can discuss things, and share your thoughts! Thank you sweet Amy!

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  2. I’ll happily voice my unpopular opinion 🙂 : we’ll not travel or do anything for Thanksgiving because we never do, but we’ll travel home for Christmas. Since Scott works for the federal government, we have to have their permission so it depends on the regulations the army base puts into place at that time.

    Masks don’t make up for social distancing. I think they give people a false sense of security.

    The base and school district here are doing a week of remote learning after Christmas to give people time to naturally quarantine at home after traveling. But military families always travel for Christmas and I see a lot of fight being put up if they take that away. (Personally, I wouldn’t mind staying put but I don’t see the issue with wanting to be with family for holidays. Life is short.)

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    1. I agree about masks providing a false sense of security. The week of virtual after breaks is what one of my sisters schools is doing. I get it – we have already sacrificed so much and I think adding more government/state mandates will make people very upset. It is just a very tough position.

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  3. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I’m bummed it may look different this year. We haven’t even really discussed what we are going to do. Many years, we see my family in KC and we decided long ago to stay home. While your post is serious, I appreciate the humor 😂 I love your ideas

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  4. Great post! Is that serious about playing instruments? Crazy. We will be having an outdoor meal and made sure everyone in the family was comfortable with it. (We have a really small family.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m in MO and in a part where most people do not take it serious and we do not have to wear masks. My son has been back to in person school 5 days a week since 8/31, wearing a mask 7.5 hours a day. While that part is sad to me I am so thankful for him to be in school and our district is doing as best as they can. I spoke with our principal today who confirmed that our numbers skyrocketed after Halloween. So that confirmed what I was feeling and only celebrating with a small group of family who has been as careful as us and takes it seriously. I have already received some negative feedback from other family but they make fun of masks and mock the virus so I just don’t feel comfortable. Sorry this was so long, I enjoy your blog everyday and love to hear different views!

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  6. We are all bummed about the holiday this year and downsizing, It’s too bad, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s one holiday and staying safe could save a loved one’s life so there really isn’t much of a decision. Here in Vermont we have travel restrictions and a mask mandate. The masks really do make a difference, and our governor gives Tuesday and Friday updates on new cases, repeating often with our health department head by his side that it is not just masks, but masks, distancing, hand washing, and staying home when you are sick. Our residents for the most part follow the mask requirement and our infection rate has been the lowest in the nation. We are not an island however, and neighboring states in the northeast have surging cases which has started to affect us, usually though sports events and family/friends gatherings.

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    1. I know! But, you are right – it is one day and the health of our loved ones is more important. I have heard Vermont was doing really well. Our governor talks most days at 5 but I stopped watching in May because it was bad for my mental health. If we had all banded together in March and locked down at the same time this wouldn’t be the current situation in my opinion. But, that does not help us now! It’s so hard. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We could certainly stop the rate of the spread, right now it is really frightening and our health care workers in some parts of the country are really getting fatigued. Let us hope we’ll soon get some national coordination and focus.

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  7. The musical instruments made me laugh!! This is a big topic in Maryland too! We just got a talking to by our governor last week and last night. We are going to have a small Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. We’ve seen them a bunch and feel safe with that. But we usually have around 20 people at the table with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids and I am definitely going to miss seeing them! My sister is due in mid-December so my parents are being extra safe so they can go be be with the new baby when the time comes. I agree that it just has to look different this year, but I’m not letting it steal the joy or fun! We’ll figure something fun out.

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    1. Ridiculous, right? Your parents have been part of your pod and if they are o.k. with it then I think that is fine. It is so sad! Oh that is so exciting for your family and that is smart. I cannot imagine having a baby during Covid and I will pray for her to have a great experience.
      That is the best attitude to have! It is not fair to the kids otherwise!

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  8. We will be having Thanksgiving as usual but I have a small family(13 people) and we don’t celebrate any holidays with my husband’s family(both of his parents have passed away). I am not afraid to go out to eat or go shopping like usual. I have been doing that since the lockdown was lifted over the summer. I do not think that masks are doing much good at all. I am so afraid that the country will be shut down come January. I pray that does not happen! I can not imagine being a restaurant or small business owner during these times. If we have another nationwide lockdown, I do believe it will be the end of most brick and mortar shopping and local restaurants. Just my thoughts….

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    1. I just don’t know what to think about masks. We have heard such conflicting information. I am afraid of another shut down, too. We are losing so many businesses and not just small local ones! I pray that it’s not as bad as we fear. I hope you all can have a safe holiday!

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