The mask isn’t for the chimney

Our First Pandemic Holiday Season: What Should We Do?

Last night while in the car with my husband, I reached out to hold his hand. A few seconds after our hands joined, he turned down the radio and said, “Hey, I think we may be doing too much for Thanksgiving.”

The tentative plan was to visit a cousin’s house on my mother’s side where my mother and grandmother will be (just the two of them along with my cousin and her mom), and then go not far away to my Aunt’s house on my Dad’s side as he’s driving in town from Texas to be with his family here in Atlanta.

My husband’s statement threw all of that into a tailspin because well, he’s right to be concerned.

Georgia alone has surpassed 400,000 cases.

The New York Times is reporting nationally over 171,900 new cases as of November 21st, with a total of over 12.2 million total people having been infected, and over 256,400 deaths.

While there is much talk about a vaccine, particularly more vigorous work proposed by President Elect Biden in bringing one to fruition, we are still months away from anything that looks like a viable treatment.

We are social beings by nature, so there is already the inbreed inclination to be around loved ones. The epically horrific year 2020 has been- the mental and financial fallout from the pandemic, heightened racial tensions and White House lunacy, just to name a few things- has surely increased our desire to just be around the happiness and warmth of people we love.

Now, here comes the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year Holiday season where are most likely to be around family and friends.

We are also at the time of year when people who are impacted by seasonal affectedness are also having to mitigate being with loved ones and their mental health, and that’s on top of how ever else they have been impacted by the events of this year.

This new terrain, during a holiday season in fact, feels almost unnavigable as decisions are weighed about how to safely handle the coming weeks.

Do we wear a mask and take the risk, or stay at home to ensure the safety of our loved ones?

I’m honestly torn.

My husband and I have been tested twice over the last few months and will most likely get tested again in the next few days. We’ve admittedly been to small gatherings and had small groups at our home, as I’m sure a lot of us have, because being away from people is just against human nature. In the beginning we were both a little more hard nosed about being out and around, but now with being back at work on a regular basis, it just feels like we should be easing back into some sense of normalcy.

What do we do?

Honestly, aside from getting tested, wearing a mask, and keeping our hands clean, I don’t know.

I’m putting off decisions in my mind because this is supposed to be a family oriented time of year, not one of tough and frightening decisions to be made about being around said family.

I know it can’t be put off much longer though.

More so than having a solid answer, right now I just relate to the mental strain those of us playing out these decisions are dealing with. It’s not easy and takes away from the joy this time of year normally brings. Joy that we desperately need with what this year has been.

What ever you decide about family and friends over the coming weeks, do it with care and caution. If you’re out and about for work or to be with family, get tested as people who are asymptomatic are unfortunately (and of course unknowingly) aiding in the spread of the virus.

Wash your hands as much and as often as possible, and do what you can to boost your immune system.

The overall goal is to stop the spread of Coronavirus. As we kick off the Holiday Season this week, be as vigilant as you can about being an agent in that regard.

Happy Holidays to you all!

Writer of life, Actor, Host/Comedian, and Spoken Word Artist. The last great Atlanta native.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store