Mark shares some sage advice for the upcoming holiday.
We pretty much knew this year’s Thanksgiving was going to be different, didn’t we? Despite our blind compliance and commitment to wash our hands, socially distance and wear masks we somehow knew it was likely to require continued sacrifices on our part. Little did we know.
Despite the fact that things seemed to get better for while we are now caught in another surge of COVID 19 cases. Positivity rates are rising. Hospitalizations too. Faucie told us this was probable. “A tough fall and winter,” he said. “Expect it.” Well of course we did. Colder weather means more people spending time inside. It’s flu season. And the Cal Poly kids are back like so many other students at colleges and universities around the country. Did we honestly expect 18 and 19 year old kids living on their own for the very first time to socially distance and quarantine themselves in their dorm rooms? Really?? Sucker!
Most people tend to agree that we’re tired and worn pretty thin. The sacrifices have been hard on us. Shutdowns have inflicted devastating economic consequences for so many families and business owners. Substance abuse is rising. So is domestic violence and suicide. Children and young adults are at a particularly high risk as school shutdowns have had dire consequences on many levels.
And then there are the mandated protocols coming from a California governor who seems to have forgotten about the constitution and who operates like a one-man legislature with unlimited rulemaking power. He’s acting more like a regulatory czar micro-managing the economy and meddling in our personal lives, all while mocking the rule of law and separation of powers. James Madison was very clear in pointing out that the concentration of power in one branch of government is “the very definition of tyranny.”
Worse yet, Governor Newsom and other autocratic politicians like him seem to have difficulty following their own dictates. And they appear to be oddly unembarrassed by it all. “The rules are for thee but not for me”, they cried. “Just stay home, wear your mask and do what you’re told.”
So here we are. Thanksgiving 2020. With all that we have to deal with in these challenging times I say let’s approach the whole thing as reasonable humans shall we? If there’s one thing we’re learning in this pandemic, it’s that, as amazing and cool as technology is, we clearly can’t live, learn and love on a Zoom call. Therefore, Thankszooming just won’t cut it. We’re human and we need each other. Maybe now more than ever. In the same room. Close enough to actually touch one another even if we don’t. It’s more than reasonable. It’s necessary. And lets go a step further than reasonable by approaching the whole subject of holiday get togethers with the notion of accepting personal responsibility and thinking through the consequences of our actions.
Is canceling the holidays a reasonable ask? Of course not. But a smaller gathering is reasonable in my view. You don’t have to cancel Thanksgiving. Just perhaps fewer people at the table this year. If there are older folks in your tribe, well, you know the risks, especially if they have underlying health conditions. As for that poor sap in the office that doesn’t have any place to go this year. Well, he’ll just have to suck it up. Don’t feel bad for him. He’ll be fine. He’s probably happy to have the day to himself anyway. Trust me on that.
As for the rest of this holiday season, I’ll encourage you to put your questions through the same funnel when making your decisions about getting together with others. Knowing what you know, is it worth insisting on your traditional celebration this year? There is no correct answer to that question by the way, because it’s about personal responsibility. It’s your choice. Period.
It’s fine for the government to provide us with suggestions and guidelines but they have no constitutional leg to stand on when mandating how many people can be in your home and how much time they can spend there. Besides, their rules are just mind numbingly stupid aren’t they? In California you can have no more than 10 people at your celebration. It’s 6 in New Jersey. So which state is safer and are they looking at the same science? Also, no more than two hours for your holiday gathering and it must be outside. No loud music. No singing. No laughing.
Seriously? No laughing?
“IT’S THE SCIENCE AND DATA”, they keep assuring us. I’d like to see the science that says a good laugh wouldn’t help us all feel just a little bit better about now.
In the end, you know what you know and being the perfectly reasonable person that you are, you are the best person to assess your family’s risk. So eat well, laugh hard, sing loud. Live your life.
Happy Thanksgiving folks!