Thanksgiving 2020

Evan Green, Staff Writer

      Thanksgiving for families around the globe has been quite the experience this year, to say the least. Amidst a global pandemic, normal traditions that families would have every year, from summer vacation to Thanksgiving celebrations with family around the table, have been changed drastically due to recent events surrounding this ever present virus. 

People struggled to find a middle ground between a socially distant, yet intimate and warm holiday season that would be safe for all involved. Be that as it may, this virus shook the world as a whole, and Thanksgiving for many wasn’t truly the same. For my family, we didn’t have nearly as much family over as we would have liked to. Outside of my grandparents, no one else was able to come due to fear of spreading the virus to the elderly in my family. All in all, Thanksgiving was bittersweet this year on my end. Today we’ll delve into the experiences of others, and see what a socially distant thanksgiving looked like for them. 

     Alex is a 17 year old kid who goes to my school. His Thanksgiving experiences sounded bittersweet, to say the least. He said, “Thanksgiving changed with how much of my family was there and all the precautions we took. We had to make sure everyone in the family was tested negative ahead of time and quarantined to the days leading up to the dinner. Everyone walking in with masks felt unreal and some family members sitting isolated cause they work at hospitals felt weird and awkward.” Such a beautiful holiday, a time where we’re supposed to be together with family, had never felt more distant and cold for Alex. I understand how bummed he must have been, seeing as the holidays felt a lot less “together” than they usually do.

     Zane, who goes to school in New York, where the numbers are particularly bad, had an even worse experience. Zane said, “Thanksgiving felt extremely different even though, at the core, it was the same. The same food and some of the same people. A few people in my family had passed but overall, I was lucky to have a family that was there at all, because we were impacted so heavily by COVID-19. Thanksgiving made us more mindful of our people and surroundings as well as the risks that we bring to others.” Zane and his family were personally affected by the virus, and I can’t imagine what it was like for him to have a Thanksgiving without loved members of his family there with him.

     Melissa, who lives in Seattle, was also personally affected by the virus, because she had it. Melissa had said, “When I was hospitalized with Covid-19 a couple of months ago, I remember my body feeling like the color was slowly draining from it. I couldn’t smell or taste anything, my body felt weak and achy. I remember having to stay in my room all day in the hospital, and how my family couldn’t come to see me. It felt so lonely. This Thanksgiving, I felt almost guilty, like I was the reason my family wouldn’t come over and share this beautiful time with us. I made sure to sit far away from everyone. It was the most isolating experience of my life.” Again, I personally couldn’t imagine what it would be like to feel like I was the reason the Thanksgiving holidays were so different this year. As she relayed this on the phone, I could almost hear the tears and sadness in her voice. It was heartbreaking to hear Melissa and Zane’s experiences this holiday season.

     All in all, this Thanksgiving was a bittersweet day for everyone in the country. Pandemic death tolls are only rising, and it’s up to us to do our part and socially distance ourselves as well as wear masks and wash our hands in order to slow the spread of Covid-19. With Christmas just around the corner, we don’t know how many holidays we’ll have to socially distance ourselves during. But what we do know is that we have the power as people to help stop this pandemic. Remember to wear your masks, stay 6 feet apart, and hopefully we can get back to normal soon. Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone.