Ready Or Not, It’s Time To Give Thanks

One of my favorite holidays is fast approaching but for some of us it may be very hard to think of things we’re thankful for right now, let alone be in a thankful and grateful mood at all. And then there’s the elephant in the room that is the pandemic and how our country’s top health experts are recommending that we neither travel nor gather as we normally would for Thanksgiving this year. The risk of asymptomatic spread is just too great, they say.

As I’m working on this post, my own county–one of the largest in the country–has seen its own number of daily COVID cases almost triple since November 1st. We are seeing case numbers we have not seen since August. Our governor issued a 30-day curfew of 10pm-5am and we’ve been warned by both our mayor and health director that if our daily case count averages a certain number over a five-day period, we will be shut down (ie under Safer At Home orders) again for at least a three week period. Long story short, we could be shut down again by the time this post is published and you’re reading it. I remember being so excited when we flattened our curve back in early Summer, thinking that though the pandemic was far from over, at least we’d poked a hole in the clouds and could see a bit of blue sky peeking through. Now, it seems like we only walked in a large circle for the last eight months to end up right back where we started, and the due diligence from those of us who were strictly following orders (staying home and only going out for essentials while wearing a mask) was for naught. Huge. Sigh. And eyeroll.

At the original curve flattening time, Hubs and I were planning to drive to be with our NorCal family this week but as Summer came and went and we saw COVID still running rampant, we feel it’s safest for us (and part of our own due diligence to society) to follow the guidelines and stay put. Our immediate family of three will be cooking a small feast at home and enjoying it amongst ourselves. I’m currently very limited in using my dominant hand due to an injury so even my own favorite holiday thing (baking) will be different this year because Hubs will have to help. Though to give him his full credit, he always helps me with the pie crusts because his are SO DELICIOUS. Our television will be tuned to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show while we sip on hot cocoa by the fire. We’ll speak with our family either via video chats or old fashioned voice phone calls. We will remind ourselves that we are still breathing, without the help of a ventilator, with a roof over our heads and jobs that are still paying our bills, and that we should continue to be grateful for these things.

And I think that’s what it comes down to for me–the everyday reminder that every morning when I wake up I can and should be thankful for just that grace, now more than ever. There will be many more Thanksgiving Days in my future that I will enjoy with a larger group of my family in person at the same table, so I’m okay to sacrifice this one if doing so even further secures the certainty of these future family gatherings, let alone all of our good health. If you are one of those who will be completely alone for the holiday and are feeling anxious about it, I offer my sincere empathy. It may seem like there is no sun and there is no up, but I promise you from my own personal experiences of my hardest life times, the sun is still there and you can still go up, even if you have to do it slowly. If you are one of those who are traveling and gathering this holiday for whatever reason, I wish you safe travels and a healthy future. But as for me and my house, we’re staying here and you can’t come in.

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