Serving up isolation with a side of despair for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a joyous and gluttonous occasion, when families unite to celebrate blessings, tolerate annoyances, and stare at screens while generally ignoring each other. It’s one of the happiest times of the year, and in a year like this one, we need all the happy we can get.

Not so fast, according to liberal governors and over-reaching scientists. If they have their way, this Thanksgiving – and probably Christmas too – will be lonely and miserable for most Americans. So tell the kids to stay away, banish the grandparents, and thaw out the turkey loaf. The big day is right around the corner.

“The only way to go home safely is for a student to bubble for 14 days,” according to Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and a member of Joe Biden’s Covid-19 task force. In a recent CNN article, Osterholm and Iahn Gonsenhauser, an Ohio State University medical official, recommended students quarantine, test, quarantine some more, and then the entire family avoid any public outing of any kind. Osterholm went on to suggest that “this should be the year we celebrate Thanksgiving on Zoom.” He clearly has not met my mother.

At least Osterholm and Gonsenhauser are scientists making recommendations, and not governors issuing mandates. That’s where the real overreach comes in. The liberal overlords who bookend the nation – Governors Cuomo of New York and Newsom of California – have imposed holiday restrictions seemingly inspired by satirical publications The Onion or the Babylon Bee.

The liberal overlords who bookend the nation have imposed holiday restrictions seemingly inspired by satirical publications The Onion or the Babylon Bee.

Just in time for turkey day, Governor Cuomo has prohibited gatherings at private residences that exceed 10 people. That’s right. If you live in New York, you are breaking the law if you have 10 guests over for Thanksgiving. It’s unclear how this will be enforced and how many police officers will earn holiday pay to conduct surprise headcounts at New York homes.

Not to be outdone, Governor Newsom’s order requires that not more than “three households” of people gather for no more than two hours in one place, only outdoors, masks required, and with strict prohibition on singing, chanting, and shouting.

My, my, my. I don’t know about you, but my family never lets a Thanksgiving go by without some vigorous chanting. And we always indulge in some good old fashioned Thanksgiving carols.

But seriously, two hours? Outside? Three households? Is the air in California safe enough to breath to stay outside for two hours? And where are you going to watch the football games? Also, if masks work, why must Californians have an outdoor Thanksgiving? Why are there headcount limits? Valid questions, all.

These governors, and others, remained quiet as crowds gathered shoulder to shoulder in celebration, protest and looting in recent months. But they want their citizens to limit family gatherings. Their adherence to the science is admirable.

So the Biden covid task force, and presumably Cuomo and Newsom, would have your freshman college student, who endured the loneliest high school graduation and college dorm experience maybe ever – remain on campus, alone for Thanksgiving. That could be a life-altering, permanently scarring event for an 18-year old who has just moved away from home. These people want your aging parents, who have been eagerly anticipating seeing their beloved family all year long, to isolate at home, alone, on the greatest family gathering day of the year.

This is not America, folks. This is not freedom.

The virus is real. It’s spreading and we need to take precautions. I came around to the mask thing months ago, and I keep my distance as much as possible around groups. We can exercise caution and still live our lives, still celebrate major holidays and see family.

My daughter will come home from college for Thanksgiving. My 81-year old mother will visit for the day. She’ll wear a mask in my house and we will all be fine with that. We won’t chant. We won’t sing. We won’t miss that because we never chant or sing. We may shout, but that’s just called being a family. We will eat in the dining room. We may sit outside for a while if the weather is nice. That will be our choice. We will see my in-laws a couple days later. I’ll keep my distance from them, but not because of covid. And there will be plenty of bourbon – you know – for sanitization purposes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Follow Jason Thomas (@jasonthomas01) on Twitter.

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