By Marcel Gemme
As the Holidays approach, many of us face a set of decisions we’d rather not be forced to make. These revolve mostly around COVID-19, the uninvited guest.
We’ve never seriously had to consider canceling Christmas. But this virus has proven to be resilient in large countries where preventative measures aren’t uniformly used. So, instead of having it under control right now and being able to enjoy our holiday, we just saw a one-week total of over 1 million positive cases of the virus, according to the CDC. This has left many feeling uncertain about how to plan for what is normally a joyous occasion and a time to gather together.
If you’re looking for reassurance about what to do, good luck. There are no direct answers provided by health authorities, perhaps to not offend anyone. But this lack of direction seems to leave the subject in question and a matter of ongoing debate. Even the CDC has dodged the issue.
They never state that you should not travel to visit your family this Thanksgiving. Instead, they provide a virtual flowchart of potentially risky situations, which anyone could have easily experienced within the last few days. Then, they say that if you have been exposed to any of these risks, you should probably make other plans for Thanksgiving. It’s a subtle way of saying that there are no safe circumstances.
The common language states that it’s safer to stay inside. It is safer not to go to the store. It’s safer never to see anyone. All of these statements are true. But, following that logic, it’s safest to live in an isolation chamber with IV fluids and a liquid diet forever.
So, what are we to do? Before COVID, the flu was our deadliest threat. And people did not live inside in fear the way that we do now or are supposed to. But we knew that the flu was here to stay, and it came around every year in what we call “flu season.”
Let’s imagine for a second that this was COVID-19. If we knew that it was here for good, we’d likely act differently. Suddenly, we’d be weighing every decision against the same risk, but from an entirely different viewpoint. Everything would be indefinite.
A senior citizen who was nearing the end of their life would have to decide that they would never see their family again. They may live for years longer this way. Or they could choose to spend what could be their last Christmas with their loved ones, knowing that COVID-19 could quickly bring about their premature end.
As you can see, this changes things. But the only factor that has changed in this scenario is knowing how much longer we’re in this thing for.
On the other hand, if we knew that it would all be over in a month, we could all easily buckle down and wait it out safely, even if that meant missing a major Holiday. But unfortunately, we just don’t know.
If we all acted as if it would be over in a month, we could potentially cause it to dwindle away. But this is where it comes down to one little thing. We each have a choice.
We each also have a life. Not everyone can lock themselves in their house and avoid the world until this all passes. Most people must work, raise children and go to the grocery store. And many seniors, who are at the highest risk, need someone elses help day-to-day.
So, what’s the right decision for you? This will likely depend on your circumstances and viewpoint. But it may mainly hinge on your perception of how long the virus will be around.
Those who believe that it will be around for a long time will likely be the least cautious in the days ahead. This includes people with cynical attitudes since they doubt that things will ever get better. This is a sure route to hypocritically engaging in risky behaviors.
Instead, let’s all trust each other for once. Let’s pretend that it will be gone by Christmas. If we all act that way, it just might.
Marcel Gemme (Courtesy Photo)
Marcel Gemme has dedicated his life to helping others find help. He focuses his attention on helping individuals find long-term Senior Care, he does this through his journalism, community outreach, and his website, ECDOL.org. Excellent Care, Decency, and Optimal Living are what he aims to bring to individuals looking for care options for themselves or their aging loved ones.
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