As we near the middle of November, many people are busy making plans for Thanksgiving celebrations. Thanksgiving is a unique holiday, as the primary mode of celebration is gathering with loved ones. There are no gifts to exchanges, no places to go – just family and friends gathering together to share in each other’s company, eat a delicious meal, and be thankful.
In 2020, it seems that we need this sort of holiday more than ever. For many people, it has been months since they’ve been with their families. Many are quarantining away from high-risk loved ones. Grandparents are missing their grandkids, adult children are missing their aging parents; loneliness has set in for many.
A holiday dinner around the table may be your dearest wish this year, however, leaders around the country are asking us all to refrain.
Gov. Mike DeWine warned Ohioans during his Wednesday evening speech of the risks of hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner, stating that anyone coming into a home where they do not live poses a threat of spreading COVID-19.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan), and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot have both recently asked residents to cancel large celebrations and opt instead for having dinner with just those you live with. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci urged people to cancel their Thanksgiving plans over a month ago.
Over the next week, it is reasonable to assume that more leaders across the nation will join in requesting people to cancel celebrations.
Canceling large celebrations does not mean canceling the holiday. Scale down your Thanksgiving plans to include only those with whom you live. Following the guidance set out by DeWine and others, Thanksgiving can be observed with those nearest and dearest. This can present the opportunity to be thankful for the health of those we care about and the blessings that we have in life.
By staying home this Thanksgiving, we all are working to help slow the spread and ensure that, hopefully, by next Thanksgiving, we will all be able to gather together and celebrate being thankful for the end of the pandemic.