Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving Plans

 It’s downright surreal listening to the two distinct realities that various news outlets are spouting.  With Thanksgiving just days away and COVID cases skyrocketing in America at an alarming rate, you would think everyone in the country would be scared shitless and heeding the CDC’s warnings to not travel and not have large gatherings on Thursday.

But instead you have Fox News mocking the CDC’s warnings.  Meanwhile, over at MSNBC you have Rachel Maddow relaying the horrific story of her partner’s battle with COVID and telling viewers to re-calibrate their risk acceptance because “you do NOT want to get this thing.”  

Two diametric opposites.  It’s mind-boggling to me.  

The states that are getting hit hardest are the states that believe the threat the least.  Utterly mystifying. This isn’t a debate over whether zombies are real.  Actual footage (even on Fox) of hospitals being overrun are dominating news coverage.  CNN keeps a running total of cases and deaths on the screen at all times.   By now, practically everybody knows someone who has it or has had it.   Soon we all know someone who died of it.

So you’d think, at the very least, people would take this pandemic seriously.  And news outlets would not politicize it for the sake of appeasing a deranged madman.  Folks would err on the side of caution.   We’re just talking common sense.   Wearing a mask does not qualify you for Mensa. 

But you know how this will play out.  Millions will ignore the warnings, get horribly sick, and some will die.  Needlessly.  To have one stupid meal.  

It won’t be many of my friends.  They take this seriously.  They social distance.  They wear masks.  They don’t travel through crowded airports and sit on packed airplanes that keep their ventilation systems turned off until they’re taxiing.  They live without Aunt Carol’s jello mold (which isn't very good anyway).  

So two realities.  One where people stay healthy, and the other where people get gravely sick and die by their own choosing.  

What are YOUR Thanksgiving plans? 


slgc said...

We'll be Zooming with my dad and the kids.

Then my husband and son (who lives with us) will have a quiet holiday dinner.

This is the year I'll get to have a Tofurky. I've always wanted to see what it's like, and this is the year to try new things.

Troy McClure said...

Call me cynical but I have the feeling that at noon on January 20th 2021, the 71 million morons who've downplayed the Coronavirus threat and dismissed the death toll as insignificant will suddenly become outraged by the pandemic and will be indignant that President Biden hasn't ended it on his first day in office.

In the meantime, one of the funny things about the internet is the ability to revisit old comments by readers that were made with absolute arrogant certainty and see how they've aged. Case in point: while browsing old posts, I saw a comment by a reader in March. That was 262,593 deaths ago...

You can't simultaneously say it is spreading like wildfire and there will be lots of deaths, when there have been very few deaths so far. Outside of Washington State, 10 deaths.
Ohio official claims 100,000 are currently affected in the state.
The logical conclusion is that the virus is not that serious if 100,000 have it already and no deaths.

Doug said...

We've had this discussion at work and it surprises me how many people there are who are quite emphatic that people need to stay at home and not travel and not gather in large groups, but then will turn around and admit that the kids and their families are flying in for Thanksgiving, or that Uncle Hal and Aunt Betsy are coming over (because otherwise they'd be all alone), or that their family just has to have their traditional get-together because Grandma doesn't understand and would be just heartbroken if they didn't. So yeah, they'll insist that everyone needs to just stay home. Except them and their family. That's different. It's okay for them to do it. Everyone else needs to be responsible and just stay home, though.

Chris G said...

We stopped travelling for Thanksgiving when our youngest was born, so we're doing our usual cozy little holiday with just the four of us. It's nice and I don't understand why so many people are so furious at the suggestion of staying home for one damn day.

Cory said...

My plans are the same as usual. I worked on holidays most of my adult life, and on years I don't have to, I settle in to enjoy my favorite TV's show's tradition:


Far off family get a phone call, nearby family get a phone call, and I get popcorn and pizza.

Craig Gustafson said...

I will do our regular bi-weekly grocery shopping on Wednesday and buy special Thanksgiving provisions.
On Thanksgiving, my wife and I will have dinner, stream a movie and TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
We will stay the fuck home.

VP81955 said...

I've lived for two years in a group home with about 10 other people, and am perversely thankful I have only one immediate relative (and he's in Jacksonville). I'm staying put here in Los Angeles, helping make our holiday dinner; my contribution will be turkey chili.

Please stay safe, folks...and I thank God I don't live in the Dakotas.

AJ's Blog said...

Ken, my wife and I are staying home. We are getting our thanksgiving meal from a restaurant, traditional meal, and eating at home. I have set up a Zoom call with family from coast to coast, about 15 of us. Yes, we are staying clear of travel, groups, and covid.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe T-day!

Jay said...

I've pretty much stayed in my one-bedroom apartment in the Valley for the past 8 months, so instead of going home to Chicago and spending the holiday with my family, I got an oceanfront hotel room in Santa Monica for a little staycation (I hate that lame word, but that's what this is).

As has been the case this whole year, I'll be all by my lonesome, but at least I'll be treating myself after a year of isolation and sticking to a rigid diet-and-exercise plan that I've kept so I wouldn't lose my mind in quarantine.

It'll be chilly this week, but after I wipe down the room and furniture with a thousand disinfecting wipes, I'm going to sit on the beach, walk along the oceanfront, order a couple of meals from ridiculously expensive restaurants (do they have any in Santa Monica?), eat on my ocean-facing balcony, sip some pretty good wine and listen to some soul-feeding music on my phone (with earbuds on...I'm not one of those inconsiderate assholes who play music on their phone with no headphones).

This isn't my ideal way of spending Thanksgiving, but I figure it'll be a way to self-isolate while also still having a special day, which has been few and far between this year.

Linda G said...

I DO live in the Dakotas, for this year anyway. I don’t go out much. This year hubby and I will be eating turkey risotto and cranberry cherry chutney at home. We will video chat with family. It will be very nice.

Mmryan314 said...

I am at a point of having no contact with another person right now and it's actually pretty okay with me. I'm a very social person but I also recognize the danger in this . We are getting together this Thanksgiving through video chatting. My whole immediate family is doing that. I just can't understand people who know how to read not taking this more seriously.

Mike Barer said...

Downright agravating.

Cedricstudio said...

I don't want anyone to catch this virus. However, I am also deeply concerned about the pain and destruction the prolonged lockdowns have caused. Small businesses are being obliterated. Millions have lost their jobs. Loneliness and depression are skyrocketing along with alcoholism and drug use and obesity (I know I've put on a few pounds during covid). Education is falling behind as kids and teachers struggle with online learning.

And yet according to the CDC's own numbers over 99.9% of people who catch Covid will not die from it.

Personally I'm tired of living in fear of a virus with a 99% survival rate. Life was not meant to be lived under shrink-wrap. If people decide that after months of isolation it's time to finally visit their loved ones face to face over Thanksgiving, I'm OK with that.

Roy DeRousse said...

My wife and I are going to a nice restaurant outdoors that has heating lamps. We would normally get together with family, but that makes no sense this year.

Amy said...

I think as Jews, we figured this thing out in the spring. When the pandemic was new, we collectively realized that Passover was going to have to change. We all had Zoom Seders.
But now everyone is tired of the pandemic and isn't as willing to compromise anymore. Most Americans didn't have to drastically change their traditions then and so they aren't thinking in those terms.
My bubble is staying home. We're resuming the zoom calls. I had hoped others would figure this out, but it isn't happening.

James Van Hise said...

A few days ago on Youtube I saw a segment of CBS news about the pandemic as it is now. All of the comments I saw (except mine where I went ballistic at the other comments) were calling the CBS report fake news! There are still cities and states in America which have never had a shut down. It is because of them that things are so bad now so that Canada and other nations have closed their borders to Americans. In spite of what should be perceived as a huge insult to America, Trump has NEVER mentioned those border closings, even once.

Dave H said...

This has been a test to show how we would react if our lives were on the line. Getting sick in this case can be prevented though. And it's sad there are people that just don't care about other people. Only themselves and even then they are willing to sacrifice their own health. Anti maskers will just laugh at what I am saying though.

I live in Toronto and went downtown the other day and a lot of people were not wearing masks or distancing. We had the virus down to about 30 cases a day but then people became lazy or thoughtless or selfish and now we are in lockdown again.

David Levenson said...

Staying home with my wife and two dogs, with one friend joining us. Missing the 26 person festivity, which is cancelled, 3 hours from us. Honestly glad not to have to drive the 6 hour round trip. My turkey is brining in buttermilk, got plenty of wine. Pretty much anyone I know who’s traveled at all has tested positive. I won’t do it. I’ve even learned to nicely ask people to give me more room. I take all the responsibility, and tell them I’m weird.

sanford said...

One of my sons are coming home tomorrow. I am not that worried. I do wear a mask when I go out. I keep my distance when I have to. I did go back to work. I have to go to a court house to do my job. It is pretty empty due to the pandemic, so there are not a lot of people there. My wife goes out way more than I do. But she takes precautions. The problem is you just never now. Heide Stevens a Chicago Tribune columnist contracted covid despite taking every precaution. She also had some kind of heart problem. Luckily she is ok but not sure if she is suffering any side affects like many are.

Tudor Queen said...

There are three in my household. One has had COVID-19 during the early spring and followed all protocols (and then some) to keep us from getting it. We are having dinner at the home of a local friend with whom we celebrate most years. His children all live far away and will not be attending.

I am bringing my usual contributions of cornbread and wine. Yesterday I went to my favorite liquor store which is observing all safety guidelines, including shutting down their popular tasting station for the duration.

Friends who usually do a tree trimming over the weekend have understandably canceled. I will clean my study and turn on my Christmas playlists by Saturday.

I am thankful that 2020 is almost over and have hope that 2021 will be better.

Unknown said...

My plans? Waiting for recommendations on what to do from Randy Quaid.....

(he's presidentially approved...)

blinky said...

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

― Voltaire

For 99.9% of homo sapiens existence we evolved to survive based on group cooperation. Religion has been a huge part of the glue that held groups together. Religion by definition requires people to believe in myth: Ghosts, virgin births, etc. Faith means believing the unbelievable.
A huge percentage of Americans have been primed to believe in hoaxes and conspiracy theories. For example, look at the people dying of the virus in North Dakota whose last words were that Covid was a hoax.
Long story short: I am staying home on Thanksgiving because I live my life based on reason not religion.

VincentS said...

Going to my "local" diner (which is three subway stops away) and get whatever Thanksgiving special they have for takeout and eat alone.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

slgc: I fear you will be disappointed in the tofurkey. My friends generally have been.

On Twitter, I've seen a neat summary of the situation: "Plan large Thanksgiving dinners and small Christmas funerals."


Anonymous said...

Further proof that we are the stupidest country on Earth. We have all the knowledge, infrastructure and money we need to beat this thing (unlike may places; but cant live our without entertainment and luxury items and have no problems putting others at risk for frivolous activities.

On top of that, people in actual positions of authority call it a hoax.

It really is hard to believe what is actually happening. If someone told me all this after I woke from a coma, I would think they were joking or at least greatly exaggerating. But nooooooooooo!

Anonymous said...


The last thing I want is to argue about opinions; but I think you need to look at other countries and see how the correct response early has worked much better than here, with less hardship, because they took aggressive approach early. Meanwhile, we still have people arguing about something as obvious as using masks.

Mike Doran said...

Here's a fun game you can play with friends, in person or on the social medium of your choice.

The Set-Up:
As of today - November 24, 2020 - at 2:25 PM, Central Standard Time - the official tally of the Presidential Popular Vote is as follows:

For Joe Biden: 79,957,621 votes.

For Donald Trump: 73,852,399 votes.

Differential: 6,105,222 votes, in favor of Biden.

The Question:
By Thanksgiving Day, which of the following two events will happen first:

(a) Trump's vote total will surpass 74 million votes?

(b) Biden's vote total will surpass 80 million votes?

I'm just using Thanksgiving Day as a template; the end of the week will suffice.

Place your bets, folks!

Troy McClure said...

P.S. I got round to watching Surf's Up on youtube. It's terrific and I could see the premise working as a sitcom. If that happens, use the same people, especially Heidi Jaye. Her performance is delightful. I can't believe she's not a star yet.

Cap'n Bob said...

Just me, the wife, and a turkey dinner.

Sean said...


Voltaire was a major influence (along with Rousseau) behind the French Revolution which committed MANY atrocities. So your quote from Voltaire--"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities"--has some marvelous unintended irony.

Thanks for some historical fun. From a history major...who's found a new quote.


kcross said...

My wife and I will be having roast chicken at home in social isolation, fretting about our son attending a “socially distanced” Thanksgiving at his in-laws house.

Goldendreams said...

We have three different zoom calls planned with the different families across the U.S., so it will just be us and the kids at home. Typically we are travelling internationally... Thanksgiving is the best time to go abroad. You have to wear a coat in the northern hemisphere but no lines and it's way cheaper than summer travel. It's just an American holiday, so you only have to take three vacation days for nine days off... the past three Thanksgivings we were in Spain, Belgium, and Australia. This year the hubby is smoking up Cornish game hens on the smoker and I'm making green beans and potatoes and having pumpkin pie for dessert... this is literally the most traditional Thanksgiving we've had in years. Last year was paella and the year before that was mussels in Brussels! Stay healthy and safe everyone.

DARON72 said...

I know it's early but my Friday question has to do with your opinion regarding Dave Chapelle asking Netflix to remove his sketch show if they won't pay him and then Netflix finally acquiescing (I always wanted to use that word). If "Almost Perfect" suddenly popped up on Netflix (maybe it already is), would you and Mr. Isaacs be properly compensated since both shows are technically co-productions?


Mike Doran said...

PPV Update:

As of 9:41 PM, CST:

Biden: 80,023,007 votes.

Trump: 73,883,553 votes.

Differential: 6,139,454 in favor of Biden.

Honestly, I thought it would be at least another couple of days ...

Frank said...

I’m not saying this for brownie points.
But honestly, my wife and son were so tickled by my joy receiving RAT GIRL, that we are going to eat and have a reading after dinner. Just the three of us and our dog. Mazel.

iamr4man said...

Cedricstudio said:
“ And yet according to the CDC's own numbers over 99.9% of people who catch Covid will not die from it.”

Actual CDC numbers say 2% of the reported cases resulted in death, not .1%
97% of the soldiers who fought on D-Day didn’t die. So if some of them wanted to just not bother taking cover and just stood up and had a walk along the beach and risk Nazi gunfire, well why not? Life wasn’t meant to be lived in fear.

Liggie said...

The decision was made for us a few days ago. My sister-in-law, a nurse, tested positive, likely from a patient. (Even though she was wearing a mask, gloves, and a face guard.) Therefore, we're all having separate Thanksgivings in our respective households instead of the annual potluck. I'll make what I contributed last year, rack of lamb and risotto.

Sis-in-law gets retested Wednesday, hoping everything goes OK.

Barry Traylor said...

My wife and I are staying home and staying alive (we hope).

Roger Owen Green said...

We're going nowhere. we're eating takeout chicken, lasagna, et al.

COVID deniers with COVID. It hurts my head.

Andrew said...

Ken, I sincerely respect you, and understand where you are coming from. And I'm not justifying how some people and media outlets are minimizing the dangers of covid-19. However, please remember that the virus is not the only crisis we're dealing with. People are facing so much turmoil, sometimes the loss of their jobs or businesses, and they are doing it in isolation. They are missing out on the routines of normal life, along with the special events we used to take for granted. People have missed weddings and funerals. In some cases they have been prevented from being with a dying loved one. There are things worse than catching the virus.

A close friend of mine committed suicide over the weekend. He leaves behind a wife and son. No one saw it coming. He was the model of health and stability, and embodied grace under pressure. I don't know for certain that the lockdowns or remote working added to his mental state. But I just don't think, if he was having normal human interactions constantly, that this would have been an option for him. I believe the virus took his life, but in a different way.

Alongside the rising number of COVID cases that the news channels are always tracking, they should add a different number tracking consequences of the attempts to stop the spread. There is an increase in youth suicides, for example. How long should schools be closed while the virus is spreading? Indefinitely? How about adult suicides? How about increases in domestic violence, and child abuse? How about the increase in poverty, or unemployment? In foreclosures and evictions? How long should we all stay home? How long should businesses be closed, or forced to operate under impossible restraints?

I guess what I mean is, I understand why some people are saying "screw it, I'm going to be with my family for the holiday." Yes, that may have drastic consequences. But so does isolation and an absence of human contact.

And this is especially the case when many of the politicians advocating or even mandating extreme measures turn out to be f'g hypocrites.


Stu R said...

Zoom with my 91 year old dad then brunch with my daughters and grandchildren. One daughter lives with me. The other with grandkids lives in my old house the street behind me. After that, they go to their mom and I relax.

just another front line healthcare worker said...

I spent my Thanksgiving working in the hospital. Our department needs a certain number onsite each year, and I am happy to take the shift so others can have Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving since so many, in regular years, have to arrange travel or only get to see relatives that travel in for a brief amount of time.

I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my parents Friday. All three of us work for the same hospital, so no increased risk.

I am extremely anxious about what is going to happen essentially to the entire health care system in America starting Monday and going on until about mid-January, with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all lined up.

As a healthcare worker, I beg of you to avoid large gatherings and wear masks (properly).

I hear the commenters that are concerned about stores closing and people losing jobs. I can't speak specifically to that because so many cities, counties, states are handling it differently. I would suggest, when you can, calling those businesses to see if you can order over the phone or online. And, urging for another relief package for those who are seeing dwindling sales and loss of employment.