DEAR READERS: Happy Thanksgiving! I want to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy season of love and connection to family. This is the time of year when so many people are focused on family, yet it is different this year. Indeed, 2020 has proven different in myriad ways.
We have been living under the invisible veil of COVID-19 for many months now. So many of us have lived in some form of perpetual quarantine in order to protect ourselves. And right now, the surge of spread of this virus is requiring us to be ever more vigilant. Scientists suggest that one way that outbreaks are spiraling out of control is through intimate family contact. Small gatherings of loved ones who let their guard down and do not wear masks are a current culprit in viral spread, primarily because -- according to these scientists -- the virus can be transmitted by people who have no apparent symptoms.
My intent is not to scare you. Instead, in the spirit of family love and connection, I am reminding us to be vigilant. I long to be with my family, including my 91-year-old mother. We are choosing to be together via videoconferencing to ensure that we do not infect anyone. What are you choosing to do? If you decide to spend time physically with your loved ones, please be mindful to keep your distance and wear a mask -- except when you are eating. And while eating, please keep your distance.
I say this not as a political statement -- at all. I say it as a love statement. My plea to all of us is to be able to be with the loved ones we hold so very dear in the safest ways possible. Let’s not risk each other’s health because we want to be together so badly. It is possible to have both if we are cautious.
Like many of you, I am very close to my small family. Typically, my husband, daughter and I drive about five hours to be with them because Thanksgiving is notoriously a high-traffic time of year. We choose to share this time together. This year, we are choosing to do it remotely.
I hope you will all pause and consider how you can show your gratitude for each other safely. Envision your personal way of engaging family and friends with love and commitment, not missing a beat in terms of making your devotion clear without putting anyone in harm’s way.
My mother talks often about counting our blessings, especially during hard times. For this Thanksgiving, let us all count our blessings. We are here. We are alive and able to express our love. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with the people who matter in our lives. We can embrace this day with fullness of heart and an abundance of joy.
We can also use technology to keep close to one another. I often think about the value of technology partnered with humanity. Technological developments are amazing and can make it possible for us to see and talk to each other no matter where in the country or the world we are. Let’s use all of the means we have to share our love. And if we intend to spend time with each other physically, let us do so with an abundance of caution. We are all worth it. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)