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For now, be the villain, and say ‘No’

By Mike Myers

No one wants to spoil the party. For that reason, Thanksgiving Day and the ensuing weekend will include big, traditional family get-togethers, just as they have for many years.

For some people, Thanksgiving rivals Christmas as their favorite time of the year. It’s easy to understand. Christmas Day can be a near-frantic time of shoving presents in front of kids and grandkids. It also is the most nervous time of the year in terms of hoping that one special person loves what you bought him or her. For those of faith, it can mean soul-searching: Did materialism override the real celebration?

Thanksgiving is different. We give thanks for our many blessings and enjoy some good food. Even more, we savor the time with friends and families, often people we see seldom, if at all, during the rest of the year.

I enjoy seeing the extended family because they’re truly good people. I just like to be around them. Really.

And there’s the brother-in-law’s Thanksgiving prime rib, the wife’s fruit pizza, the sister-in-law’s candied yams, real mashed potatoes, homemade pumpkin pie … I could go on.

Outlaw the secular trappings of Christmas if you like. Just don’t touch my Thanksgiving.

Except this year. We’ll have a quiet Thanksgiving at home, with just a few people we have good reason to believe aren’t carrying COVID-19. We won’t go to the big family get-together.

There’s simply too great a risk that a house packed with 20 or more people will become a viral nightmare.

You know I’m right. The nephew who’s been going to class at his high school could bring the virus in, without even knowing it. He communicates it to the 40-ish family member, who takes it to work and before developing symptoms, he passes it to a co-worker who takes it home … and eventually, it’s in the local nursing home.

You know I’m right.

No one likes to be the villain who breaks up the family Thanksgiving as it has been held for a generation or more. No one wants to be that bad guy — so no one raises a red flag. The big day goes off as it always has. Everyone has fun. Perhaps no one even feels sick in the ensuing days.

But COVID-19 has been given its opening — and people die.

Be the villain. Say no. Suggest we can try again next spring — and do so. Family is really important. Let the virus be no more than an interruption.

But for now, be the bad guy. Next Thanksgiving, whether it be in June or November, your family can celebrate as you always have.

Except that you can be thankful there’s more than a slim chance you saved someone’s life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

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