Thanksgiving 2020

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Thanksgiving 2020

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This was the homemade stuffing I made for Thanksgiving of 2020. Due to social distancing my family had in order to protect people, my extended family ate at two separate locations. For me, that meant going to my parent's place next door and dining with my aunt and uncle. My grandparents had their own celebration with other family members. One interesting twist to this was that we all ended up eating the same food between both houses because it was split up. This is why I ended up making a lot more stuffing than I normally would for Thanksgiving. In addition to this, I brought over some homemade cranberry sauce and homemade jam. I had learned to make canned jam during 2020, and I had some leftover to give. Everyone enjoyed the food I made and my aunt said it was some of the best stuffing she ever tasted, and she isn't really a big fan of stuffing. Sadly, the stuffing was not enough to ease tensions on the politics happening at the time.

Other parts of the day included my family getting into a political discussion on the 2020 election. I had different views on it than my family did, so I left once that started.

Later on in the evening, me and my husband went over to my in-laws. My sister-in-law was sick with COVID, so my father-in-law gave her food from the evening for her to take home. I was bummed about that, but people did not want to take their chances of getting others sick, which I understood. My father-in-law invited someone that year from Egypt for the occasion. It also turned into a political discussion there. I felt more comfortable voicing my opinions there than I did with my immediate family, but it was still draining. It made an otherwise okay evening into something that I don't want to think about.

2020 was a hard year for many people, and the election being so close to Thanksgiving made it very awkward. It has toned down since then, but I think people being locked down and exposed to constant social media and news coverage made it harder for people to actually discuss things. I think it's a good thing to be informed, but I do not believe the information overload many dealt with during 2020 was healthy. It even took a toll on me, as it made my mental health worse. Between the lockdowns, protests, and election, it was hard for me to take all at once. My only real solace was school and my husband, as both forced me to think of things not happening at the very moment.

As a history major, I find it easier to think of events in the past than I do the present at times. It's why I really like the medieval period in Europe because it is far enough removed from the current era, so I am less likely to get heated about some of the topics brought up. With current events, I need to take a break at times. It was very obvious that the Thanksgiving from 2020 was not something that really made my mental health better. I enjoyed the food and the company, but I had a hard time wanting to discuss politics with people that I interact with regularly. It's one thing to discuss with strangers I might never see again, but completely another to talk about it with people that you need to interact with daily.

Now that things are back to normal, for the most part, the tensions are not as high. I find myself being able to discuss politics again with some family members without it going badly. Overall, I would say that Thanksgiving 2020 was a good social experiment on how much overexposure to media and lockdowns can be detrimental to personal relationships. Seeing things behind a screen too often and being away from others takes a toll on humanity. This is why I was so glad when things started opening up again because people need to be out more and with others. As much as technology has helped us communicate, it still can't make up for the human interaction everyone needs. My own mental health has been much better since the ending of the restrictions and I don't want to go back to them again.

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This item was submitted on May 6, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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