Editor’s note: The following is a satire piece. Enjoy it!
Last week, I wrote about the increasingly totalitarian restrictions being suggested and imposed by academics and governors, respectively. Those restrictions have spread at the speed of covid over the last few days, so I thought it best to revisit the topic from a slightly different angle: how to use these constraints on your freedoms as helpful tools to manage your holiday stress.
Let me first disclaim that covid is real. Covid is contagious. Covid is dangerous. And most (but not all) governors, scientists, and media types who advocate restrictions do so from a place of good intentions with everybody’s health in mind. Well, maybe not the media types.
Now that we got that out of the way…
The first step in shifting your paradigm is to recognize that the government-mandated Covid Restricted Activities Protocol (CRAP) is here to stay – at least until we’ve all been forcibly vaccinated in the summer of 2021. Once you realize that, you can begin learning how to use CRAP to your advantage this holiday season.
To squeeze the most benefits out of CRAP, you must educate yourself on the rules and regulations of your state, your neighboring states, states you may have to visit during the holidays and states where your potential visitors reside. For example, if your goal this Thanksgiving is to avoid the annual trip to the in-laws’, your location and theirs are critical factors. If they live in the same state, and the gathering is going to consist of ten or fewer people, your options for avoidance are limited. On the other hand, if you are fortunate enough to have a holiday invitation to New Jersey, but live in almost any state that it doesn’t border, you would be on solid ground to decline, based on the Garden State’s 14-day self-quarantine advisory. Just be careful not to overplay your hand with this one, or you could end up not just making the trip, but being stuck there for two weeks.
This is also the year to play up any co-morbidity you may be saddled with. If you’re a little on the heavy side, then embrace your obesity! High blood pressure? Make the most of it. Asthma, shingles, rickets, lockjaw, hammertoe? You’re at high risk and should stay away.
If you do find yourself at a stressful family gathering, wait until everyone is seated, then announce that you will be following the governor’s order by taking your plate out on the lawn. Odds are, most of the family will remain inside, allowing you to eat in relative solitude. Another coping mechanism at your disposal is to carry a flask of gin and blame hand sanitizer for the conspicuous odor.
And be sure to mask your visible disdain and muffle your sarcastic mutterings with your favorite face covering. These are great for those holiday shopping trips when someone cuts you off in a crowded checkout line. You can unleash a tirade of profanity and nobody will be quite sure which masked shopper is to blame.
If you begrudgingly invited relatives months ago to join you for the holidays, and they still insist on coming, you have several arrows in your quiver, so to speak. If none of the above scenarios work in your favor, you can cite the health of the general public and quote Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist, Dr. Jack O’Horo in rescinding the invitation because your guests aren’t in your “covid bubble.” You can also advise potential guests that the worldwide toilet paper shortage precludes you from allowing visitors or straying far from home yourself.
If all else fails, tell the family you’ve been exposed to the virus and must self-isolate. The odds are decent that this is true anyway, and it’s a sure-fire solution to maintain your sanity at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
So you see, we’ve been looking at this all wrong. Certainly, most of the year, we’ve been inconvenienced by mask mandates and restrictions on gatherings – unless of course we were looting and rioting – in which case restrictions were waived. But think of all the holiday seasons when you wished for, or even concocted, an excuse to skip a family event. This year you’ve got a real one! So get out there and make the most of it.
God bless us, every one.
Follow Jason Thomas (@jasonthomas01) on Twitter.
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