A COVID-19 Thanksgiving

I love the holiday season and it kicks off with Thanksgiving. Everyone probably has a different idea of what Thanksgiving means to them. For me, Thanksgiving is a time to see my family and friends. My aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces and nephews all get together and celebrate with each other, because we’re so thankful to have each other around. We enjoy great food, fun activities and traditions. This is what Thanksgiving in 2020 is supposed to be, yet COVID-19 is still here and among us. So, this year, only my immediate family will be with me for the holiday. It’s hard and disappointing but it’s important for us to adapt and overcome. This year has been full of challenges, so what’s one more, right? I am excited to see my immediate family and celebrate with them.

Celebrating comes in all different forms. There are ways to be with your family, even if you aren’t in the same place. Why not set up a virtual family gathering on FaceTime or Zoom? This is probably the safest way to see all your friends and family.

If video calls aren’t your style, you could try planning a social distance Thanksgiving celebration in your backyard. While this kind of gathering isn’t possible for me living in Chicago at the end of November, people in warmer climates could definitely set up a gathering in their backyards. Space the guests at least six feet apart or tell them to bring their own lawn chairs. Have them wear face masks and use hand sanitizer often.

Remember, Thanksgiving is what you make of it. With Christmas right around the corner, I hope that my family still feels like we’re celebrating, even if our celebrations aren’t what they normally are. Enjoy the time you have with family and loved ones. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.