New York Daily News
Don’t be selfish this Thanksgiving
Echoing the warnings of public health experts, Gov. Cuomo gave New Yorkers a sincere yet blunt admonition in recent days: Skip large gatherings or risk fueling a “tremendous spike” of COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving. Hand in hand with that fear came a new regulation: family gatherings will be capped at 10 people statewide.
Based on the backlash that ensued, you would’ve thought the governor was canceling Thanksgiving or calling off the entire holiday season for good. To add insult to injury, upstate sheriffs have refused to uphold the governor’s order because they declined to interfere with “the great tradition of Thanksgiving.”
I’m here to tell you from painful personal experience that bringing family around the table isn’t worth it. It will bring sickness and death.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. There’s nothing more joyful than preparing a huge, celebratory dinner. But some traditions are not worth the pain they can bring.
I lost my mother to COVID-19 in late March when COVID rates were at their peak. My entire family dynamic was flipped upside down as I slowly began to lose other family members, including my maternal grandfather, who died of a broken heart after being emotionally and physically distraught due to losing his only daughter.
The aftermath of losing two family members in the span of three months made me hit rock bottom both emotionally and financially. Not only did I have to assume new family responsibilities for a role life had not prepared me for, but I also had to face these two losses on my own.
Friends and family were only able to reach out through a phone call or a sympathy card as I said my last goodbyes in an empty funeral wake. I later discovered that I had contracted COVID and had to deal with the severity of the virus at home in isolation along with my grief, wondering if I was going to have the same fate as my mother. Even once I recovered, it was difficult to figure out how to go forward with my life.
Birthdays and holidays will never be the same for my grandmother and me; even if we were gathering extended family this Thanksgiving — which we’re not — we would have two empty places at the table.
For months, we carried the emotional burden and the constant what-ifs. At the time, we blamed ourselves or questioned ourselves endlessly, asking what we could have done differently to save them.
As time progressed, we realized we did everything possible on our end and took extreme precautions from Day 1. However, not all New Yorkers can say the same.
Those who scoff at Cuomo’s advice, who insist upon bringing extended family together around a table, indoors, unmasked, seem to have the memories of goldfish.
It doesn’t matter who’s been tested; it doesn’t matter what other precautions you think you’re taking. The simple act of bringing people who are part of different bubbles together will inevitably spread disease, which will bring more hospitalizations and more deaths.
A pattern I have personally noticed is that the rejection of the governor’s order comes from either right-wing conservative New Yorkers or New Yorkers who have not been directly affected or lost a family member to COVID-19. As harsh as this may sound, it seems like these same people will not understand unless they are directly affected by it. Are people really that thick? Are they really that unwilling to understand how basic science works, facts that millions of us have learned the hard way since this pandemic began?
Losing family members during a pandemic has been emotionally traumatic and exhausting.
So please, I urge my fellow New Yorkers: Stop being selfish.
Whether you agree or disagree with Cuomo’s leadership, whether he inspires or annoys you, COVID-19 is something that should not be taken lightly.
This is the time to be reasonable. Use your common sense. Follow the rules.
Do you want to spend Christmas getting your last rites in ICU or ring in the New Year without your mother, grandfather, or any loved one by your side? If you love your family as much as you say you do, stay home. Count your blessings next year when you can finally share a meal.
Quite frankly, no one is even asking you to make that big of a sacrifice. Technology is so advanced nowadays that we can virtually share a meal. Although it is not the same, it beats having an empty seat at the next family reunion.
Flatten the curve so you don’t have to go through the pain that thousands of other families and I have to endure in the future of not having our loved ones around to celebrate future holidays and milestones.
minding its own business in the comfort of its natural habitat when it was wrapped up within the branches of a huge tree for three days, trucked hundreds of miles to a foreign place and, lo and behold, survived through it all and has been aptly named for its final destination, Rockefeller. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy Thanksgiving and holiday season, with strength and fortitude, like the tiny Rockefeller.
If you have never seen “Wild in the Streets” (1968), watch it. Interesting parts certainly make you think of how crazy our political environment can become, but hopefully it never will. It’s on Turner Classic Movies, so be sure to give yourself at least an hour to watch it. Enjoy, and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving on the way. Peace.
The big question this Thanksgiving is: Will the turkeys pardon Trump? Bob Bodo
Thanksgiving? Yeah, right! Thanks for COVID, thanks for the increase in crime, thanks for stupid people not obeying COVID rules, thanks for school closings, thanks for the toilet paper shortage, thanks for cleaning product shortages, thanks for no cruise vacations, thanks for a moron who refuses to give up the Oval Office — yeah, Thanksgiving!
So once again, another Hasidic wedding in Williamsburg on Nov. 8 with no repercussions. Our fearless leaders will look into this, but the damage has been done. Our mayor has the audacity to apologize, and then our governor says he will take away their lunch money. Let us be real, they do what they want and that will never change — everybody in NYC knows that. If you think the people are going to limit Thanksgiving gatherings, think again. I will have my Thanksgiving, and I will have my family — as many as I choose.
Our so-called Gov. Cuomo will have no problem adhering to his draconian “only 10 family members” at a Thanksgiving celebration. That is because no nine people would want to be
Be as graceful as grateful
I read the destructive piece by Councilman Joe Borelli in your “Be Our Guest” column. I was amazed that a councilman would be this irresponsible during a time of crisis. Borelli wants us all to feel the same sense of entitlement he feels, to proceed with a greater-than-10-family-member dinner for Thanksgiving as well as any other holiday gathering in his large home. He describes his Uncle Bill, a Korean War frogman who nobody should tell to shelter from this pesky virus. Thank you for reminding us that our family is our family as that is why I, having a pre-existing condition, will be staying home. The precautions put in place are intended to