We Quarantined for Thanksgiving. You Can, Too.
Last year for Thanksgiving my husband and I, along with our son, didn’t have our usual celebration with friends. The house was quiet, there was no buzz of activity, no greeting of guests, no counters full of aromatic dishes people had brought. In 2019, we had a quarantine Thanksgiving.
I’d like to tell you about it for one reason: We isolated on Thanksgiving and so can you. As rates of coronavirus infection are on the uptick in conjunction with the growing fatigue of using mitigation efforts and there is no end in sight, I am truly nervous about what will happen this November 26 through January 1. People are tired of it; participation enthusiasm is waning. I get it. At the same time, I will be blunt: I don’t think you should visit your friends and your families this Thanksgiving and holiday season. (Experts on infectious diseases don’t think you should, either.) I don’t think you should carry on as normal. This man just wanted to have a small family get-together and look what happened. We have not done what was necessary to get out ahead of this virus so a return to normalcy has been pushed further and further back. I know you are tired of virus spread mitigation efforts. I am, too. Do you think anyone isn’t?
Before the Thanksgiving of 2019, my husband and I would usually gather with dozens of friends for our annual vegan celebration. Since the mid-1990s, we have enjoyed this kind of Thanksgiving, and it has always been one of our favorite days of the year, full of great food and lively conversations with friends all smashed together for an animated, lovely meal that lasted for hours. Last year, though, we spent the holiday alone, cloistered in our home.
After washing the dishes, I scrolled my Facebook feed, looking at the photos and vivid descriptions of the warm gatherings my friends posted, many of the same people we’d enjoyed Thanksgivings with in the past. It was a sad and lonely time, far from the celebration a year before. I felt so isolated.
We hadn’t been shunned. We didn’t fall out with anyone. We didn’t become hermits, well, at least not of our own choosing.