November 24, 2020

Why we made the Difficult Decision to Stay Home.

Today we made the difficult decision of staying home for Thanksgiving.

Originally, we were playing it by ear. We could have visited with our families, wore masks nearly the whole time, and removed them only to eat.  

However, in El Paso county, cases are rising almost exponentially. We will be moving to the next level of risk on Friday, the red level. This means that restaurants will be shut down except for to-go orders, gyms and studios will be at 10 percent capacity, and no one is supposed to meet with others outside of their household.

I’m not sure if they purposefully set that for Friday, right after Thanksgiving or not. Maybe they wanted people to be able to get together with family before locking down a little tighter. For us, it simply signals that regardless of the day the risk level tightens, we should be more cautious.

Because of my husband’s job, we have often celebrated holidays on different days of the week than they fall. We both have family in town, so we tend to celebrate on two separate days so that we don’t die of overeating on one day.

His father has Diabetes and Parkinson’s, so we were already leaning toward not going. He is already facing losing his father sooner than he would like because of the Parkinson’s. We both agreed that risking COVID-19 would be far too much at this point. My husband also has three nephews and a niece from his two brothers. I stress about where they have been and who they have come into contact with, since kids are not always the best at hygiene. We would have celebrated on Thanksgiving Day.

On my side of the family, it’s my parents, and my sister, and her husband. We are probably lower risk because most of us are at home nearly all the time. We would have celebrated on Saturday, but we would have already been exposed to who knows what with my husband’s family.  

Rather than make it seem like we were playing favorites with the families, we made the difficult decision to not be there in person at all. I know it breaks my parents’ hearts. I’m sure they feel like if we are all to die from this virus next week, we would have wanted to be together during this time.  

We’ve offered to do a virtual dinner with them. We would all have our food at our respective houses and video chat while we eat. I’m not sure if my parents will take us up on that, but I hope they do.

I know they think that COVID-19 isn’t that big of a deal. They hate the mask mandates and don’t want to wear a mask unless they have to. One more reason for us to not go. I understand that they don’t want to live in fear, and they have lived long lives so they are okay with dying if that’s what happens. I’m willing to respect that.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t be cautious, though. I can be more distant from them to protect my health. I can video chat with them whenever we can align schedules. We can still plan to eat our turkey dinner at the time we were going to get together.

And hopefully, just hopefully, we will all be able to spend next Thanksgiving together again.

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