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Rachel Maddow's COVID-19 Story Is a Warning to Stay Home This Holiday Season

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I want to see my friends and relatives for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If I do not see them I will spend the holiday alone. I live with severe depression and I am particularly symptomatic in the fall and winter. Being around loved ones helps me cope but literally I do not want to kill them or myself for that matter while COVID-19 is around.

MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow shared her personal COVID-19 story. Her partner Susan Mikula was diagnosed with COVID-19 and struggled to live through it. Nearly in tears Maddow implored all of us to stop and think about what it would be like to lose someone that is precious to you as a partner or soulmate.

“At one point, we really thought it was a possibility it might kill her and that’s why I’ve been away,” the MSNBC host said.

I saw that news and wondered how with knowing all of that, how are people still gathering for the holidays. Not only are they putting themselves at risk but also those they love. Some are thinking they can test their way to a safe holiday. Experts say this is a false sense of security.

People are flying to have vacations. Some people are still saying COVID-19 is a hoax and that we cannot live in fear and must go on with our lives. This is wild. Where are these people getting their information? What is happening to my fellow citizens? Why have they seemed to forgotten about other people?

The country is literally on fire with COVID-19 cases. According to the CDC, we are clocking nearly 200,000 cases a day and 1 million in the past five days. The experts are warning us of a long and dark winter if our human behavior does not change.

I did everything right.

I have spent the past nine months in my house only venturing out for doctors’ appointments. I even order my groceries in. I must go to these doctors’ appointments. Now when I go to the doctor, I will go with the knowledge that my fellow patients will have spent Thanksgiving with grandma or flown on a plane. This is endangering my life and I am not even in their family.

How dare they risk my life too.

So now, do I miss my appointments? Do I take the risk of leaving my home? Maddow’s story reminds us of the risk we all have. Maddow’s partner is my age. If she can get that sick what about me with comorbidities?

Depression is a dangerous condition but so is COVID-19. So I am planning to weather the holiday the best way I know how: Staying home alone.

I love to cook so I am going to make biscuits in the morning for breakfast/lunch (plan to sleep in to make the day go faster). Next, I am going to cook my grandmother’s gumbo (we grew up only eating gumbo for Thanksgiving). She is from New Orleans. I love the taste. It reminds me of some of my good memories of childhood. There were not many. Then I will bake a cream cheese pound cake as my dessert. (I say every Black woman should have a good pound cake she can whip out at a moment’s notice).

I am then going to dig out my Christmas tree and decorate my apartment. That should keep me busy.

All my family and friends have someone to spend the holiday with so maybe I will do Zoom calls the day after.

I feel betrayed.

I feel that my fellow citizens and president did not take this virus seriously in the first place and if they had I would be in Chicago right now visiting my aunt. Instead I am alone struggling to stay positive that I am doing my part for society even though no one seems to be doing the same.

Maddow’s story should be a cautionary tale. This virus is everywhere. No one is exempt. We are all at risk. We are all vulnerable.

Staying home for Thanksgiving will not kill you but going may very well kill you or Uncle Jim or even me.

Be Mighty. Stay Home!

Header image via MSNBC/YouTube

Originally published: November 23, 2020
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