Since September, the governor of Vermont has been prepping us to expect Thanksgiving to be different in 2020. He has pleaded with us to follow the rules, maintain the social distance, stay outdoors—and always wear a mask whenever you are within six feet of anyone outside your own family pod.
In early October, he added in the reminders about quarantine recommendations for all college students returning home.
By late October, he reminded us all that Vermonters are to observe the travel maps, and to plan our upcoming holidays accordingly. However, by that time, the coronavirus cases and positivity rates had risen quickly—and only three counties could travel freely into the state of Vermont.
Even worse, by the end of October, many counties in our own state also exceeded the rates we had been using to establish who was safe to visit us. At that point, the governor halted the travel map and said that everyone should not travel unless “absolutely necessary.”
Between the urging to not travel—combined with a mandate to quarantine if you do, the writing has been on the wall now for quite some time. This 2020 Thanksgiving was going to be very local. I had been allowing myself to dream a bit, thinking of the outdoor kitchen and peaking ahead at the weather. Maybe we could gather with some neighbors and eat outside, spin this holiday into something unique and memorable.
Now, with last Friday’s announcement that we need to stay within our own household, not even seeing friends for outdoor walks, we are not quite sure what makes sense.
Over the weekend, Randi, a reader of this blog sent me an email. She, too, feels the loss of this familiar gathering. But she has found her own silver lining in it—and I am happy she did! She said, “Only silver lining I have come up with is we don’t have to clean the house and Thanksgiving will be a lot cheaper.”
Thank you, Randi!