10 ways to connect and give thanks this year without spreading COVID

“I feel lonely” I hear too many friends and relatives say in anticipation of this holiday season.

Me too.

I bet the Pilgrims would relate on that symbolic first Thanksgiving. They mourned the deceased who had fallen ill from pneumonia and scurvy. They also missed their long lost relatives back in the Old World. Meanwhile the native Americans were likely reminiscing over the days before the white men appeared, bringing a brutal epidemic that eventually killed an estimated 90% of America’s original inhabitants.

This holiday the world is sick.

The problem is, we aren’t just sick with COVID. Globally over 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. We’re sick from our politics, our police brutality, our racism, our homelessness, our faithlessness, our refugees and our poor who suffer far more than the rest of us. We’re sick from our latest report of our planet’s demise. We’re sick from hearing opinions that upset us — opinions different from our own.

But Thanksgiving historically symbolizes a new way of coping with an apocalypse. Even if idealistic, the bountiful picture of a meal shared involves a stable surface in the midst of chaos. It offers a glimmer of hope, where alternative perspectives, cultures, skin colors and faiths might come together without screaming liar and fraud at each other, and without spreading a deadly virus.

Maybe Thanksgiving is a tremendous opportunity to end drunk Tweets, to stop the spread of COVID, to halt judgment, blame and conspiracy theories. Maybe we can be honest, humble, and truly thankful this week.

Here are some ideas for new ways to connect and give thanks without causing the demise of others:

  1. Invite friends and family to an online feast. It’s obvious, I know. But even if you’ve got Zoom fatigue, let me point out the benefits of a Zoom Feast. First, you don’t have to sit in the same physical space as that family member who drives you nuts yearly. You don’t have to cut your fingers peeling a hundred potatoes. And you don’t even have to eat turkey if you don’t like it. You can make macaroni and cheese instead, while sipping champagne by candlelight. You can eat your food right there in your own messy home and no one will even know that you’re not wearing your pants. Afterwards you won’t have a lot of dishes to do, and you can drink the remaining champagne if need be.

Maybe that’s what the Native Americans wanted to teach us— giving and receiving even small things, like a kernel of corn, can change everything about the future.

https://www.amyaveschallenger.com/ American writer living in Switzerland. Contributor @Independent @WaPost, @Huffpost, @International Living , @Euronews & more

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