“What do you miss the most?” was a question I asked students recently. It was a vague question, but one armed with an aim to gain knowledge on the effect of COVID-19 forcing us all into isolation.
As you probably guessed, missing certain people was the predominant answer.
The poll I did had me thinking how unnatural it is for us to evade those we love and care about on a daily basis. Imagine what it will feel like over the holidays when it is that one time of the year families are the most unified.
Surviving the final stretch of the first semester of school, Thanksgiving break is usually a time for us to unwind and prepare for the grueling final two weeks in December. It’s a time where we finally breathe a sigh of relief because we all know how stressful it gets as teachers wrap up their lessons and pile on the work. More importantly, Thanksgiving was a time to spend with family.
Thanksgiving represents a gathering of grateful hearts leading us into a season where we are refueled by the love from family and friends. And food, obviously. Lots of it.
We share laughter, we speak of and reflect on our blessings, and we giddily anticipate the start of a New Year (and resolutions, that for me last for at most the first week). But how do we celebrate with those who matter to us most when we were thrusted into an abbreviated life lesson on how to be fully content with no more than 5 people from our immediate household?
I personally miss so much. I miss seeing expressions from others passing me by instead of faces being blocked by a mask and shield. I miss breathing the air instead of feeling stifled by a mask. I am also not ashamed to say that I even miss dodging bird poop in the courtyard at lunch.
But one thing I yearn for the most is making memories.
As much as school stresses me out I miss the bad days as much as I miss the good. No matter what happened each day there was an opportunity to create a memory, but life is just so different now. I sometimes wish that this were all a dream and we could simply wake up and things would be normal again. But nothing will change unless we do.
We all know that gatherings are the number one way for clusters to occur, and if we want to make a difference we need to think about each other this Thanksgiving. The CDC strongly urges celebrating virtually, and members of your own household pose the lowest risk of threat.
Mid-Pacific has been like a second home to me, and my hope is that I can return in the new year in order to finish what I started in person four years ago.
If we can all make small sacrifices this season by not gathering in the usual way we do, I believe that we have the power to alter the course of this pandemic. And you can make it enjoyable. I know I will probably be in my pajamas all day watching the game with my dad and spending time with my immediate family. Oh, and baking cookies — trying not to burn anything down.
Please be safe and let’s not only think about our own families this season. Let’s think about everyone in our community, and keep their safety in consideration the same way that we would for our own family. Let’s work together to end this pandemic once and for all.
Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!