This, Too, Shall Pass: Thanksgiving 2020

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Today is Thanksgiving, and the terrible history of it aside, it’s a holiday that many — including myself — equate with family, fun, laughter, and all sorts of shenanigans. This year, it looks a bit different than most of us are used to. Thanks to the Coronavirus, people around the country will spend the day alone or with those in the same household (at least those heeding the CDC’s advice will do so). For many, this means only a mere fragment of the people they usually spend the holiday with will be physically present.

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, a time that can already be emotionally challenging. This year, the cherry on top of the mud-riddled sundae that is 2020 is this especially difficult end to the year. Humans are social beings — we are not meant to spend this much time alone. Even an extreme introvert like me needs contact with others. Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or even an ambivert, time with other people is one of the activities that feeds your energy supply. Something as simple as a hug can make us feel better because it releases oxytocin, a bonding hormone, after holding the hug for several seconds, but many people don’t even have that available to them. So with that in mind, be gentle with yourself today, and everyday for that matter.

It is easy to feel like this misery will never end, especially after enduring it for so many months. It is easy to throw caution to the wind and decide to ignore all guidelines because staying away from everyone you love has become intolerable. But this will end. And the better we are at adhering to the guidelines, the sooner this mess will be over. I am not so naive to think that there will be a vaccine and poof everything will be better. The wounds from this virus, both physical and mental, will leave lasting scars on all of us. But like any scar, they are reminders that we were stronger than what tried to take us down.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and while it may feel out of reach, it isn’t. We’re almost there. That doesn’t mean things will get easier as we get closer — my guess is things will get harder — but it means there really will be an end to this. At this point, every day is a struggle for almost every person, but don’t forget: you have made it through 100 percent of your bad days. You can do this, and together, we’ll get through this (I promise that rhyme was a complete accident).

Happy Thanksgiving. I am sending love and strength to you all.

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Nicole Friedberg

Nicole Friedberg

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