COVID-19 and Holidays

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Oct 9, 2020

The first holiday to come upon us is at the end of this month. It is Halloween. This means lots of kids, who wear masks, who don't wear masks, who went back to school or who didn't. We live on a dead-end and really don't get a lot of kids unless they are accompanied by their folks. We also get older kids later on. I have to confess I have only thought about this once, but @bustrbrwn22 mentioned this in a post this AM. I think that it deserves its own discussion.

I don't think that we will be turning on our outdoor lights to welcome any tricks or treats. I will not be jeopardizing surviving 23 years of lung cancer to anyone if I can help it. I love and adore kids but they will have to do without my candy this year. I think that it is too risky for everyone.

I know that this sounds hard but the world has changed and we all have to adapt to it. What will you do about this holiday?

@sueinmn

HI Merry –
We just had this discussion. In MN, outdoors is possible only about 1 in 10 Thanksgivings, and winter has already arrived, so probably not an option with our little guys. We will have a 2 table meal – daughter & family in dining room, our other daughter & us in living room. Food will be served out of kitchen by 1 masked person. We should be able to augment our house ventilation with an open window with an exhaust fan in another room. Then we'll mask back up and if possible, play outside.

We always do Thanksgiving with my sister and her family – depending on health, we are considering some kind of non-food, masked activity with them that weekend. They are also very careful & limited in their contacts with the world due to elder-Mom-in-law care & fragile grandson.
Sue

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Thanksgiving Update
This is hard for me to write, but after discussion with our kids, and a close look at the rate of infection in the Twin Cities, we have sadly altered our Thanksgiving plans.
As the experts keep telling us, even limited indoor gatherings are becoming spreader events because so many people are either totally asymptomatic, or are pre-symptomatic. Our ICU's are, and have been at over 95% of capacity for more than a week. Our positivity rate is at 10% and climbing. We each have elevated risks due to health and/or age.
As a result, even our small family will change our plan. Unless weather permits a picnic (about a 5% chance here), we will each prepare part of the feast, then exchange offerings at the door of our home and eat separately in our own homes while chatting on Zoom. After dinner we will partake in an outdoor activity together – walk, scavenger hunt, etc. If it's raining, we will engage in a toddler-friendly game over Zoom instead. Later, after the kids are in bed, the adults – including a few cousins & my sis – will raise a glass and play a game of Farkle via Zoom.
You do what you can!
How is everyone else planning to celebrate?
Sue

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@sueinmn– RI's rules have become stricter recently so I guess it will depend on the weather for us. I think that most feel the way you do, very sad and angry. Our hearts are definitely broken.

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@merpreb

@sueinmn– RI's rules have become stricter recently so I guess it will depend on the weather for us. I think that most feel the way you do, very sad and angry. Our hearts are definitely broken.

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Angry & heartbroken, but trying very hard to stay as positive as I can. Some days are harder than others.
We have terrific weather this week, so are hosting 3 patio gatherings while we can. Then all the furniture will get tucked away and the pond covered before next Monday, when the next snow is forecast,
Sue

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@sueinmn

Thanksgiving Update
This is hard for me to write, but after discussion with our kids, and a close look at the rate of infection in the Twin Cities, we have sadly altered our Thanksgiving plans.
As the experts keep telling us, even limited indoor gatherings are becoming spreader events because so many people are either totally asymptomatic, or are pre-symptomatic. Our ICU's are, and have been at over 95% of capacity for more than a week. Our positivity rate is at 10% and climbing. We each have elevated risks due to health and/or age.
As a result, even our small family will change our plan. Unless weather permits a picnic (about a 5% chance here), we will each prepare part of the feast, then exchange offerings at the door of our home and eat separately in our own homes while chatting on Zoom. After dinner we will partake in an outdoor activity together – walk, scavenger hunt, etc. If it's raining, we will engage in a toddler-friendly game over Zoom instead. Later, after the kids are in bed, the adults – including a few cousins & my sis – will raise a glass and play a game of Farkle via Zoom.
You do what you can!
How is everyone else planning to celebrate?
Sue

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@sueinmn. Sadly this is the case with us too. Our Governor has mandated 3 households only for gathering, that effectively ruled us out. I think with the uncertainty ahead of us, it's better to be safe than sorry. We have come a long way this year, let's look ahead for better days. Hopefully next year, this will all be behind us, and we can have a bang of a party for all the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, Mother's day, Father's day, etc that we miss. I know I'm still going to give thanks to all my friends and families, and my new connect friends here who have given me support and cheers when I feel like I'm in the dumps and needed to vent. Have a great Thanksgiving to you all, no matter how you celebrate it.

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@sueinmn

Angry & heartbroken, but trying very hard to stay as positive as I can. Some days are harder than others.
We have terrific weather this week, so are hosting 3 patio gatherings while we can. Then all the furniture will get tucked away and the pond covered before next Monday, when the next snow is forecast,
Sue

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Sue- Have you decided to stay in MN?

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@merpreb

Sue- Have you decided to stay in MN?

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We still don't know. Waiting for reports from friends who are on the way there now.
Sue

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@mayofeb2020

@sueinmn. Sadly this is the case with us too. Our Governor has mandated 3 households only for gathering, that effectively ruled us out. I think with the uncertainty ahead of us, it's better to be safe than sorry. We have come a long way this year, let's look ahead for better days. Hopefully next year, this will all be behind us, and we can have a bang of a party for all the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, Mother's day, Father's day, etc that we miss. I know I'm still going to give thanks to all my friends and families, and my new connect friends here who have given me support and cheers when I feel like I'm in the dumps and needed to vent. Have a great Thanksgiving to you all, no matter how you celebrate it.

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Love your positivity sueinmn. Better days ahead for sure. I know our family won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving and may end up doing a Zoom Christmas. My nephew graduates in 2021 so that is our hope the virus will be under control by then. I work in healthcare and our hospital has now activated their surge plan as hospitalizations increase here in Northern MN. Be safe everyone.

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@coderhomer

Love your positivity sueinmn. Better days ahead for sure. I know our family won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving and may end up doing a Zoom Christmas. My nephew graduates in 2021 so that is our hope the virus will be under control by then. I work in healthcare and our hospital has now activated their surge plan as hospitalizations increase here in Northern MN. Be safe everyone.

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I'm trying – some days are better then others – this week is really great. We're having Indian Summer and taking advantage by hosting 3-4 patio lunches this week before we pack up the furniture. Nothing makes me happier than the people I love!!!!

Also continuing my cleaning/giving away project. Yesterday I gifted my no-longer-used sewing machine to a person who wore hers out sewing masks and charity quilts. I don't know which of us was more delighted – especially because she also went home with a 2 boxes of no-longer-needed fabrics. And next week I should have another carful for the local charity that finds permanent housing for homeless families. Sorting through extra household supplies – nobody thinks about how much it costs to set up with all new sheets, towels, blankets, pillows, dish cloths – since we no longer host housefuls of visiting cousins with their kids, it's time to pare down.
Sue

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The CDC has just put out Thanksgiving Guidelines that I think answers a few questions for me. One is that we make our own food – Hey, more leftovers! And secondly use paper plates and plastic utensils and paper plates- Hardly any cleanup. We always go to my sister's and she makes a huge mess! A third is to store your mask when you eat.

I think that my sister wants to eat in the woodshop but I'd rather tailgate. I guess that we will still have to wait for the weather forecast. Has anyone else made more definite plans? Or have other tips?
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

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@merpreb

The CDC has just put out Thanksgiving Guidelines that I think answers a few questions for me. One is that we make our own food – Hey, more leftovers! And secondly use paper plates and plastic utensils and paper plates- Hardly any cleanup. We always go to my sister's and she makes a huge mess! A third is to store your mask when you eat.

I think that my sister wants to eat in the woodshop but I'd rather tailgate. I guess that we will still have to wait for the weather forecast. Has anyone else made more definite plans? Or have other tips?
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

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UPDATE- My Governor has passed a stay-at-home-for-Thanksgiving demand and a "pause" for 2 weeks. So, of course, we have had to cancel our plans for being with my sister. This makes me so very sad. I miss her so much even if we talk almost every day and email or text on top of that.

There's something about being with someone- there's a precious space that people take up. I miss that space. I miss the smells and sounds of other people who make up my world, other people's dogs and cats. I miss the particular feel of hugging someone and experience the warmth that they give me. This is indeed going to be a sad Thanksgiving. But not a lost Thanksgiving.

We have decided to cook our own turkey dinner and all of the fixings. You can call me out for complaining about left-overs later! We will pop a cork, or two and look out on our property and be very, very thankful that we are still sharing this time together. Twenty-three years ago I was diagnosed with my first lung cancer. I am so thankful for every breath that I take. They are gifts that I never expected.

We will have a zoom call with my scattered family and have a toast, or two. We can exchange thoughts and feelings and what we are thankful for. For this year, since so much has changed, I am thankful for is them, my family. Although I won't feel their warmth this year I can imagine it and see them and hear their voices. I am very lucky.

What are your plans? Have they changed? What are you feeling?

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@merpreb

UPDATE- My Governor has passed a stay-at-home-for-Thanksgiving demand and a "pause" for 2 weeks. So, of course, we have had to cancel our plans for being with my sister. This makes me so very sad. I miss her so much even if we talk almost every day and email or text on top of that.

There's something about being with someone- there's a precious space that people take up. I miss that space. I miss the smells and sounds of other people who make up my world, other people's dogs and cats. I miss the particular feel of hugging someone and experience the warmth that they give me. This is indeed going to be a sad Thanksgiving. But not a lost Thanksgiving.

We have decided to cook our own turkey dinner and all of the fixings. You can call me out for complaining about left-overs later! We will pop a cork, or two and look out on our property and be very, very thankful that we are still sharing this time together. Twenty-three years ago I was diagnosed with my first lung cancer. I am so thankful for every breath that I take. They are gifts that I never expected.

We will have a zoom call with my scattered family and have a toast, or two. We can exchange thoughts and feelings and what we are thankful for. For this year, since so much has changed, I am thankful for is them, my family. Although I won't feel their warmth this year I can imagine it and see them and hear their voices. I am very lucky.

What are your plans? Have they changed? What are you feeling?

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@merpreb. You read my mind. I have mixed feelings about this Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday of the year. It's all about family, getting together with those we don't usually see during the year with no expectations of gift giving like Christmas. Just good old fashion around the kitchen chit chat and who's getting the crispy skin of the turkey. Even though I have a small family here in the US, we started planning at the beginning of November… My daughter would order fresh turkey, then we decide who's going to bring what. Exchanging recipes etc. Just the anticipation is worth the price of gold, culminating in a wonderful day at Thanksgiving.

Alas, it's not meant to be this year, while I am very sad about not spending it with my family, I am thankful that we are all safe. We'll have a zoom gathering instead. I'm planning on roasting a Cornish game hen! Looks like it will be the same for Christmas as well.

I hope that the coming year will be better. I read somewhere that there's no light without darkness. It's pretty dark now, let's pray for the light!

Be safe, and have a great Thanksgiving, no matter how you celebrate it.

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@merpreb

UPDATE- My Governor has passed a stay-at-home-for-Thanksgiving demand and a "pause" for 2 weeks. So, of course, we have had to cancel our plans for being with my sister. This makes me so very sad. I miss her so much even if we talk almost every day and email or text on top of that.

There's something about being with someone- there's a precious space that people take up. I miss that space. I miss the smells and sounds of other people who make up my world, other people's dogs and cats. I miss the particular feel of hugging someone and experience the warmth that they give me. This is indeed going to be a sad Thanksgiving. But not a lost Thanksgiving.

We have decided to cook our own turkey dinner and all of the fixings. You can call me out for complaining about left-overs later! We will pop a cork, or two and look out on our property and be very, very thankful that we are still sharing this time together. Twenty-three years ago I was diagnosed with my first lung cancer. I am so thankful for every breath that I take. They are gifts that I never expected.

We will have a zoom call with my scattered family and have a toast, or two. We can exchange thoughts and feelings and what we are thankful for. For this year, since so much has changed, I am thankful for is them, my family. Although I won't feel their warmth this year I can imagine it and see them and hear their voices. I am very lucky.

What are your plans? Have they changed? What are you feeling?

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Well said. This whole year has been sad. But we do have so much to be thankful for. Praying for better times in the new year. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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