Gathering Close While Maintaining Distance
2020 has forced a wedge in the normality of physical closeness and togetherness that defines human nature. Covid-19 has led to a degree of disconnectedness that is now weighing heavy on us all. Many of you reading this likely personally know somebody who has been infected with COVID. Some of you, like me, may even have had the unfortunate experience of knowing somebody who has lost their life to this infection.
I have found myself in a unique position as a Registered Nurse amid a pandemic. Viewing this situation from the inside looking out, instead of the average American’s perspective. Part of my daily job is to speak with people who are COVID positive. I listen to their stories and grievances while trying to find the right words to reassure them. As we face this massive surge of cases, I witness firsthand my hospital filling to the brim with serious cases of the virus. How will this virus affect those who are infected in the long term? How do we move forward? How do we thwart this black plague that has found its way into a first world system?
COVID has muddled our day-to-day in a way that has never been experienced by this generation of humanity. Our everyday lives have been tossed into a mixed bag of isolation, disconnection, grief, loss of experiences, and for many, sickness. Of course, I am continuing to encourage everybody to remain diligent, even after 9 months of staying distant and wearing masks. Continue to be the good human beings I know all of you are, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. The holidays are a time to reflect and be thankful for the blessings of this life with the ones we love so dearly, but there is some apprehension in the air about how to handle this unique situation we have been presented with.
In partnership with Salad Girl, I’ve been challenged to ask you all this: How do you celebrate and give thanks without being physically present with family or loved ones? How can you maintain the love and emotional connection without hugging and seeing their faces? I’ve pondered this question for some time, and below I’ve listed some creative ways to move forward into the holiday season. I encourage you all to reach out to your family members and offer up some of these ideas to gauge interest. All these thoughts come from a place of love, and I can only hope you all stay safe and happy during this holiday season. Let’s move forward into the holidays with creativity and a positive attitude!
Ideas to celebrate the season of Thanksgiving without being physically together:
1) Have a virtual dish-to-pass. Make a dish and share with each family you were supposed to gather with by letting them know when you will be leaving the portion (or entire dish!) on their doorstep. On Thanksgiving, when the time comes for each family to eat, warm up their dish and enjoy dishes made from other members of the family.
2) Make use of amazing technology that is video chatting. Zoom, Snapchat, Facetime, Google Meet, Skype, and Discord are just a few of the many platforms you can use to video chat with loved ones and friends. Many of these, you can also do group chats with multiple people! What a fun way to enjoy still ‘being together’ in spirit and enjoying conversation without contributing to the pandemic.
3) Recipe swap with loved ones and friends. On Thanksgiving, try to get 1 recipe from each family member (or family group) that you would’ve regularly shared a meal with. Make their recipe, and see if it tastes just as good as it does when they make it. Enjoy the meal knowing you’re still enjoying a bit of deliciousness inspired by your loved ones.
4) Hook up your laptop to your television so that you can see your loved ones and their Thanksgiving spread on your big screen. Keep the video chat going by propping up a webcam in an open location, and keep it open throughout the day to create the idea that you are with your loved ones in their homes too!
5) Have a bake off! Everybody cooks something of the same sort (Pecan Pie, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Salads, etc.). Next, send a portion to your loved one’s home by dropping it off on their front porch at a coordinated time. Hop on a group video call, and have a vote. Whoever gets the most votes wins!