The year-end holiday season begins this week as COVID-19 cases spike almost everywhere in the United States. Health officials are encouraging people to stay home unless essential travel is required. Holiday parties and large family meals are beloved traditions, but gatherings larger than 10 people are being actively discouraged in our state. Last Thursday, a statewide curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM was implemented, lasting at least through mid-December.
And those difficult decisions I wrote about a few weeks ago finally had to be made.
Our older son came home from his internship program last night. There was no avoiding it, as his time was up and he had to go somewhere; should we have told him to fend for himself until there’s a vaccine? Fortunately he has a basement bedroom with a bathroom in our home, making it fairly easy for us to isolate him for two weeks. When he comes up for meals, everyone will wear masks and we’ll keep properly distanced from him. He’ll still eat dinner with my wife and I, but we’ll be at opposite ends of the table. This is going to be a very awkward time, not being able to hug him for half a month, but this is the world we live in now.
We convinced our younger son to not come home for Thanksgiving. The risk to him and us would be small, given he’d be driving and have less interpersonal contact and has recovered from his case of COVID in the spring. However, his plan was to return after a few days to his apartment just outside his college campus, and then come back here a couple of weeks later for nearly a month and a half. That amount of back-and-forth travelling hardly seemed in the spirit of current health orders.
Thanksgiving in three days could be difficult, with our younger son not at home, my wife’s parents isolated in Hawaii (not a bad place to be stranded, but the ache for family is still painful), and our older son at the far end of the table. We’ll get by, but those vaccines in development better come when expected, and they’d better be as effective as the studies promise.