To go or not to go-Holiday Decisions Await During Covid-19

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On The Stephanie Miller Show today (liberal talk-show host), she talked about her 98-year-old mother who has dementia and who recently entered an assisted living facility. While terrified of flying during the pandemic, she’s decided to see her anyway. She fears that it might be the last chance to see her alive.

My best friend confided in me today that his 95-year-old mother, who also lives in an assisted living facility, is depressed due to restricted visitation rules. He’s contemplating a visit this weekend due to expected additional restrictive policies from the state’s governor due to record Covid-19 infections every day for the past ten days. He, too, is worried he may never see her alive again.

A few weeks ago, we were expecting a visit from our three-year-old granddaughter and her parents, who’ve never been out to see us here in Oregon. They had to cancel because some employees tested positive for the virus at the facility where they work. It’s the second visit canceled due to virus concerns.

My friends, here we are some nine months into the worst pandemic in over 100 years, and I can’t help but think that these are the same kinds of decisions and situations affecting millions of Americans each day. It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse – much worse. Just as all scientists and experts told us it would, especially as the weather gets colder and people begin to have what’s being called “Covid fatigue.”

It’s gone so far off the rails in this country. I get it that people are sick and tired of this whole ordeal. Mark me down as one of those individuals. I’ve had people close to me come down with the virus, and although all have survived so far, their experiences were not pleasant in the least. Contrary to what some of our so-called political leaders have said, it’s not just a “bad cold.”

The idea that these so-called leaders are also actively spreading the disease is incomprehensible. But in the current politically divisive climate, what else should we expect? True to form, there are individual talk-show hosts on a particular network still spewing mindless drivel and downplaying this virus. I’d love to know how many infections and deaths can be attributed to their callous disregard for human life. Perhaps it’s one of those things we will never know for sure. I, for one, hold them directly responsible. Too bad we can’t prosecute them.

And now here we are on the eve of the holiday season. A time when millions of folks usually take to the skies and highways to visit loved ones and friends. How will that be this year? How many are making decisions, as we speak, to either stay home or assume the risk of traveling?

I suppose I’m somewhat lucky that I do not have to make such a gut-wrenching decision. But that’s only because both of my parents are now deceased. If either were still alive, I’d be in the same boat. I do not envy anyone who has to make this choice.

However, I’m cautiously optimistic that the tide may be slowly turning as it pertains to the virus. Vaccines are coming – sooner rather than later if recent media reports are accurate. I certainly hope that’s the case.

What makes me even more hopeful is that the incoming presidential administration believes in science and data. I know, hard to believe, right? And with that belief will come competence, empathy, and a team of people who will give this virus the prioritized attention it deserves.

So much time wasted; so many lives lost.

With that, let’s all do the best we can over the coming months to try and stop this virus in its tracks – yes, even knowing that a vaccine may soon arrive. Mask up, keep as far apart from people as you possibly can, and listen to the experts – not the crazies on social media or cable news channels that peddle snake oil and conspiracy theories. The damage they’ve already done is unconscionable. Ignore them – please ignore them.

And if you have to make a gut-wrenching decision on whether to visit a loved one or family member? All you can do is weigh the risks and do what’s right for you. Nobody can or should tell you otherwise. I feel for all of you who have to go through this.

And let’s also remember that help is on the way, whether it’s through effective vaccines, viable treatments, rapid and accurate testing, – or all of the above. It’s hard to stay positive in this day and age, but I think next year will be better. I really do.

Lastly, and perhaps most important, the adults are coming to Washington, D.C., on January 20, 2021. Too bad it’s not sooner. But, they’re coming, and for that, we should all be thankful.

If any of you would like to share a personal story or situation surrounding this virus, please feel free to do so.


  1. I have an adult daughter who still insists this virus is “just the flu” — and referenced the H1N1 in a recent telephone conversation. She wears a mask at work because it’s required, but nowhere else. (Should I mention she’s married to a hardcore Republican?) I tried to get across why masks are so important. Huh. Wasted breath.

    I’m quite sure that even if I showed her statistics (as found here), it would have little effect. And even though she understands the dangers if my other-half (with severe asthma + heart issues) were to contract the virus, it’s head knowledge only.

    I hate to look backwards because we can’t change the past, but -IF- the president we’re about to put out to pasture had done what he should have, things could have been soooo much different … and families would not have one (or more) less at the dinner table this holiday.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The disconnect is so troubling Nan. I, too, have so many family members who don’t think it’s a big deal. It doesn’t surprise me that your daughter is married to a hardcore Trumper/Republican. My step-daughter is in the same boat. We never raised her to be intolerant of others, yet, now that she’s been in a Republican household for 5 years, she’s changed so much.
      It’s just a sad commentary on where we are these days. The quicker he’s gone from the political stage, the better off we’re all going to be. But, I have a fear that Trump will never leave the stage entirely. It’s just not in his DNA. He needs the attention too much. Our only hope is that he gets indicted and convicted. Him spending a few years in the slammer would be a gift to America. Unfortunately, his followers would still love him. So disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nan, I sent this to my newspaper today. Please feel free to share it with anyone. I struck the politics and focused on the simple request of us citizens. Keith

        “While the promise of a vaccine being available to many in the spring is good news, the rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths is troubling. Hearing the term “mobile mortuaries” is alarming by itself. Seeing folks still without masks and not socially distancing is disturbing, especially with family in retail and restaurants. As my Air Force veteran brother-in-law wrote, “it is not like we are being asked to storm the beaches at Normandy; please wear a mask and socially distance.” It truly is the least we could do to help others.”

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Just today, the ignoble Rand Paul claimed that mask mandates actually increased the infection rate, and that restaurants should hire people who’ve had the virus for they are immune … all contrary to what the scientists and medical experts have said and are saying. It should be unlawful for people in positions of power and influence to lie to people in such a way as to put the people’s lives in danger! Great post, Jeff … and thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jill! Paul is a disgrace. And he’s a doctor? He should be ashamed. But, of course he’s not. None of them are. They peddle this B.S and do it all with a straight face. Sigh…..

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And Senator Rand Paul is supposed to be a doctor as well. Clearly he is equally deficient in both fields. My former political party continues to elect the least qualified candidates. For the GOP, internal popularity trumps expertise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, look no further than Alabama who just elected a former college football coach to the Senate who doesn’t even know what the three branches of government are. They could have had Doug Jones for another six years. He’s a good man, he’s smart, and a political moderate. Yet, they chose THAT guy? They get what they deserve Jerry. I heard Jones refer to their new Senator as “Coach Clueless” during the campaign. So appropriate….The dumbing down of America continues.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Somebody said yesterday he is an ophthalmologist, which hardly qualifies him to speak about the pandemic, and he’s always been a nutcase. Your right about popularity trumping expertise, which I think is a result of our declining education system … far too many people don’t understand how government works, don’t understand the ramifications of poor policies, and really don’t care … as long as the candidates inspires them with his rhetoric or is ‘kinda cute’, he’s got their vote. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The main thing I don’t get is why there is such a lack of thought or caring if they should cause someone else to die by not wearing a mask. If they want to risk serious illness or death themselves, I couldn’t care less, but for others?….why such selfishness?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems as though it’s ingrained in the DNA of these people Mary. Now it’s being said that wearing one also protects yourself. Maybe that will turn the tide? If they know it protects THEM, perhaps they’ll put the damn mask on. But, I doubt it because they don’t even think any of the data surrounding Covid is true. All made up, as far as they’re concerned. There’s so much disinformation out there. I just don’t know how or if we can ever reach them. Pointless to even try, I suppose. If they only pay attention to right-wing media, they’ll never get the real facts. So sad.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep, and WHY do they not believe the data surrounding the pandemic is true? Because the jackass in the Oval Office told them it wasn’t, told them it is no worse than a cold, that it is ‘going away’, and that we have ’rounded a corner’. Over 162,000 new cases yesterday … I’d like to know where that ‘corner’ is!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Jeff, maybe we are just not listening anymore to the president, but is he talking much at all about the rising pandemic that is sweeping the nation? Or is the vaccine that won’t be available for a few months a panacea to punctuate the solution that will not help now.

    We have struggled with Thanksgiving, which we annually host at our house. The families decided to have an outdoor celebration with appetizer size food on Friday at a park covered shelter. It is just too scary to travel and convene with many at one time. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s a very wise decision Keith. We’re having our son and his girl friend over for Thanksgiving. Both are traveling from Los Angeles but they’re driving and will get tested before they leave. Luckily both are very responsible, wear masks all the time, and take this virus seriously. Thus, we feel getting together is going to be ok. Nothing is risk-free, of course.


  5. I’ve told my two adult sons that if they come to our house for Thanksgiving they will have to wear masks and maintain six feet of distance from their mother and me. Sounds, harsh, I know, but these are harsh times.

    Liked by 1 person

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