This year Thanksgiving is going to look different for all Americans. The food might be less traditional as well as the guests. Even the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade has gone virtual. I'll be okay with that if Santa still shows up at the end to ring in the Christmas Holiday.
I live in Orlando, Florida, and the governor has relaxed all the pandemic protocols and policies and is leaving them up to the local city or county governments to enforce. He has taken his cue from the people in Washington DC and we are the petri-dish for the herd immunity experiment.
This is a problem for most of us in the land of Disney. Mainly because whether you are a resident or a visitor to the sunshine state the pandemic is just as problematic here as it is anywhere else in the world. So why is the news media forecasting an upswing in tourism during this time? Because nobody can keep people from coming. They come during hurricane season, during spring break, during the hottest days of the summer months, and especially during the holiday season.
Now I understand that the loss of tourism in this part of our state is devasting because it is the foundation of our economy. However, if it is killing innocent people why keep it going? With 250,000 plus lives lost in a seven months span and the cases are surpassing all other countries in the world, isn't it prudent to stop and take a look at what you or your neighbor are doing and make sure you are not causing more cases?
As a widow, I have experienced the unexpected loss of my husband due to cancer that took his life within months of being diagnosed. There are many families this year and into next, that will experience this painful loss of a loved one. The holidays are the hardest to get through. The many firsts these survivors will experience isn't easy. I would not want to wish the kind of pain they will endure on my worst enemy.
So, let's get past this season and let me take you to next year's Thanksgiving. With the help of the scientist and our new responsible government, I see Thanksgiving 2021 as a day filled with all the family traditions, we have all come to love and appreciate. Pies will be baked, turkeys will be stuffed, and large groups of families will break out the card tables and kiddy tables to feed their loved ones.
There will be less reason to have that political argument that festers in some family gatherings. Maybe, the one person that you feared would want to talk politics is no longer sitting at the table or has come to realize after all said and done, life is too short to fight over it.
What I hope to see is a country that will put on a mask to travel, shop, and go to amusement parks, to keep their neighbors as well as their loved ones healthy and safe. Yes, this time of year is the flu season and we as a country have taken this illness too lightly for too long. It isn't the common cold and people will die; it is up to us to prevent the spread.
If we are diligent, future Thanksgivings there won't be a shortage of grocery items like paper products. Industries that keep our stores stocked with essentials, will be in full swing, and no need to hoard the toilet paper or sanitized wipes. Grandparents will be able to hug their loved ones without fear. Music, movies, and games will be played as the turkey is roasting in the oven. Noshing on olive and cheese trays are permitted as long as everyone has washed their hands. Candy dishes can be set out for little ones to gorge on and the wine and holiday cocktails will flow with ease.
So please, don't fear, this is just temporary, we will come back from this stronger and better because we are Americans. Children of all ages will one day tell their grandkids how they survived the pandemic of 2020. How proud they are of their parents and loved ones that kept them safe and healthy during this scary and confusing time of their innocent lives.
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