I’m not even going to lie but I am not quite that excited about the holidays this year. Co-vid has dampened the whole holiday spirit for me. Fear for your health and safety will do that. The CDC is not even recommending travel occur and any gatherings of over 10 people are strongly discouraged. Usually around this time, my husband and I would be preparing to go to my mom in law’s house for Thanksgiving but not this year. I had to make the difficult decision to not do travel this year for Thanksgiving due to rising Co-vid cases. Apparently, the spike in positive cases is higher than it was at the height of the virus last spring. So, because I have a special needs son who won’t wear a mask and because the other family members probably won’t wear masks or tested, I am not doing Thanksgiving at our in laws.
It seems with Co-vid there are two types of people; some who wear masks consistently and limit the amount of time outside or in crowds and those who enjoy being out and gathering with others. I am the former, I have a history of asthma as a child and know what it is like not to be able to breathe. Very scary experience that I would never like to experience again. Plus, with my autistic son not liking to wear masks, I feel compelled to limit our activities to drive through events and small gatherings with very few children involved. I don’t want to completely isolate them, but I also recognize the danger in children being super spreaders and not wanting my children, self, or husband to contract this deadly virus. So, we are very careful and intentional about where we spend our time and what we do. Rather I am very intentional since I am the most cautious of us two. This of course has created some disagreement within our family and extended family, but I am unwilling to fold when it comes to health. Our health is more important than a Thanksgiving or Christmas missed. We have lasted this long without the Coronavirus hitting our household and I plan to keep it this way.
I am also on the fence about the Coronavirus vaccine. I am not sure I want something that was just tested for a few months injected into my body. My body is my vessel and I only get one so no, I am not sure that I want some unknown, unvetted product lurking in my system. I also don’t want to have to continue to live my life like this either; not being able to be around people without masks because we are not vaccinated. So, what I have considered is this; waiting a year to see what potential side effects that may come about as a result of this vaccine and deciding from there about if me or my family will get vaccinated.
Right now, this is a really difficult time for most so try to be kind to those during the holiday season and be compassionate to the needy. The needy is not just people who are homeless right now but those who have recently been furloughed or lost their jobs or those who are now isolated because they can’t be around family due to Coronavirus and now have to spend the holidays alone. Take the time to give back whether it is through your time by making a phone call or sending an email, help them with groceries, or put some money towards their Cashapp or Venmo so they can have a nice holiday, especially if they live alone. Mental health issues are on the rise because of isolation and having to be at home so much so it is important that if you know someone who lives alone but has not reached out, be the first to reach out to them. Check in on those family or friends you have not heard from in a while. They may seem ok because you see them on social media, but they very well could be suffering in silence. They may be anxious to hear from someone but too scared or ashamed to reach out. As the saying goes, “Check on your strong friends”, the ones you think have it all together but in these tough times, might be struggling. I have called and checked in with multiple friends who I usually don’t hear from or spend time with but a few times a year because I don’t want to lose a friend to suicide because of this pandemic. Suicide is a byproduct of this isolating time we are in and I imagine it will get worst for those who live alone during the holiday season. If your intuition is bugging you about so and so, make sure you check in on so and so before it’s too late.
I hope that everyone makes the best of this holiday season. Whether you are alone or have someone or a family, realize that this period in our lives is just temporary. If you are really struggling psychologically and feel unsafe, make sure you reach out to the National Suicide prevention hotline. Don’t hesitate to also reach out to family or friends if you are just having a bad day or week or experiencing Coronavirus pandemic fatigue and go here for tips on how to deal with it. We all go through it; sometimes I just wish that I could go into a store without wearing a mask. Then I think of my children and husband and how selfish it would be not to do that and put us all at risk. A mask is simply a symbol of protection, protecting those you love from getting sick because they are important to you. Dealing with the inconvenience of a mask is well worth it. I just wish more people would understand this. However, I will continue to protect my household and I hope you will do the same.