Jon Stewart had a good point. At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic becoming a prevalent threat, and the administration and other supporters downplaying or outright decrying the importance of wearing a mask, he pointed out their use in surgery.
"What do you tell your doctor?" he asked. He then wondered aloud if the same people claiming mask use was ridiculous or counterproductive thought their surgeons were somehow weak for covering themselves while digging around inside you. Now, with over 3000 deaths in a single day, no one in their right mind should be questioning their use.
A Politicized Pandemic
It's become trendy to buy into conspiracy theories. QAnon, despite lifting their central belief system from the buddy comedy Dragnet, is still a political force to be reckoned with. The idea that liberals and democrats promoting Covid safety precautions are members of a deep state trying to control your every impulse has gained a base that has now bled into Congress. But just because something is trending on Twitter or got a boost in a Reddit feed doesn't change science.
Ron DeSantis has been a problem, Donald Trump has been a problem, but the biggest problem is not political. It's not some encroaching, malignant force trying to dictate your very existence. A virus doesn't vote; a virus doesn't hate. A virus doesn't care about Hunter Biden's whereabouts outside of whether or not they are apt conditions to infect him.
Despite medical doctors rallying around a vaccine and safety precautions, they've become targets of violence, threats, and protest. They are nothing but scientists, attempting to prevent you from getting sick.
The recent news makes every day another milestone in deaths. Though the vaccine is coming as fast as humanly possible, the numbers estimate over 600,000 American deaths from Covid before its rollout. The facts are as brutal as they come, and the results of a neglected Thanksgiving are only starting to come in – it's only set to get worse.
Healthy Tips For A Safe Holiday
This year, the only choice for the holiday season is to remain with your immediate family, reduce travel to a minimum, and consistently keep your hands clean. We say that last part both literally and metaphorically, as the guilt of infecting a loved one is too much to take after a year as turbulent as 2020.
The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping a close eye on infection rates in your area before attending or holding gatherings of any kind. Outdoor gatherings are the safest, but indoor gatherings with a small number of people are possible so long as ventilation is clear, with open windows and doors.
With doctors predicting a third surge in cases, it's important you stay with those closest to you. Larger gatherings outside of immediate family should be limited to virtual encounters, especially if someone in your household is at a high risk of infection or has underlying health conditions, particularly those related to the respiratory system.
If buffets or potlucks are held, which are not recommended, be sure that they're held outside or in extremely well-ventilated conditions. Keep a distance of at least six feet from guests – we're aware most people say just six, but also understand that is the bare minimum.
We understand sons and daughters are away at college, and for both parents and children, this is one of the hardest parts. Outbreaks on college campuses have been especially rampant recently. When your son or daughter returns for the holidays, there's a good possibility that they could be carriers.
We can't stress the importance of remaining as virtual as possible unless they live at or near home already and haven't spent an excessive amount of time on campus or dorms. Getting familiar with new virtual technology shouldn't be a hassle, and families should work through any difficulties they have setting apps up for one another.
Moreover, virtual parties are not as alienating as one might assume. This can be an opportunity to get creative with your family and use the technology to communicate messages of love, respect, and warmth.
This is all going to be case-by-case, of course. Every family will arrive at their own decision at how much they're willing to risk. But as more than a few doctors have said, it's better to sacrifice a little this year than have to lose so much more next year.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
We realize how hard this is going to be. We know, especially after this year, how genuinely vital seeing your loved ones to bring it to a close could be. But the importance of being able to share future Holidays together outweigh any immediate need.
Don't lose the ones you've kept so close to out of some selfish desire to gather. If ever your country were calling on you to sacrifice for a greater good, it's now.