By Lori Stevens, Certified Senior Advisor at Concierge Care Advisors

Over 18 months ago, when COVID started showing its evil head, absolutely NONE of us would have thought it would interfere with not one, but TWO holiday seasons!  We made sacrifices last year, altering our usual plans with family.  We didn’t travel as much, we didn’t host or attend holiday feasts, parties, or get togethers with friends.  Why, oh why are we facing this yet again??!  Wasn’t last year’s holiday sacrifice enough?  Evidently not.  But beware, some people are of the notion that we can let up with being so careful, and we can go ahead with business as usual.  HANG ON!  Let’s look at the most recent statistics.

As I write this, we are barely into October, and I was startled to hear the latest for Washington State.  Grim.  Last month, COVID was taking over our hospital beds, not just locally, but throughout the United States.  People close to me have family who were unable to have a much-needed surgery, let alone get into a hospital if they potentially could be having a heart attack.  Some good news this past week, however, is that the ICU beds are freeing up a bit-thank goodness!

One thing NOT letting up are the COVID tests coming back positive.  Every day this past week, the NEW positive cases in Washington State have exceeded 2,900.  And that is PER DAY!  So, in one week, that means our state has over 20,000 NEW CASES!  This is just crazy.  Not to mention so many new hospitalizations and deaths in our state each and every day.  Granted, the majority of the new cases are those who are NOT fully vaccinated.  But some people ARE vaccinated and still getting the virus, primarily the Delta variant.  When you have underlying conditions or are a senior citizen, you are much more likely to be hospitalized if you contract the new Covid Delta variant…even if you are vaccinated.

What comes to mind is we must continue to stay safe through this upcoming holiday season…no matter how much we felt we gave up last year.

I have a friend who had a fantastic time with her family with a SAFE event they created for last Thanksgiving.  Perhaps it is not terribly unusual, but I thought I would share this as an option to still enjoy family, while keeping your distance. Each family or individual was tasked with making their usual or special dish for all to share for Thanksgiving.  They prepared it, whether it be mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, or turkey… then portioned it out for each of the others.  All met for 30 minutes in a parking lot, lining their cars up in a row–6 feet a part of course and everyone masked!  One at a time, they would go car to car providing each individual or family with their designated dish.  After 30 minutes of deliveries to each other, and an occasional fist bump, they all got back in their cars and returned home.  One hour later, they jumped on their computers for a Zoom call with their plates all warmed and dished up with the individual dishes they were provided.  Via Zoom, they sat around their “virtual” Thanksgiving Dinner table talking about what they are thankful for, catching up with each other, and enjoying a meal which they all prepared.

This does take some coordination, but I thought…What a wonderful way to make the very best of a very difficult situation.  Pictures were posted on Facebook of their Zoom call and hearty Thanksgiving meal, with all smiling and engaged in the event.  Although there are concessions, we must continue to stay safe.  What can we do to make the best of it?

Here’s to a safe and happy holiday season!