Some threats are readily apparent and serve to bring people together. Consider the London blitz in WWII. No one could debate the noise of the planes, the whirring sound of the bombs as they descended on their civilian targets, the noise of the explosions, the smoke, the fire, the destruction of buildings, and the people who needlessly died because they refused to seek shelter in the Underground. Unlike today, the enemy was a clear and present danger, and the British people banded together as they never had in their lifetimes against a common enemy.
As I write this in 2020 we all face a common foe but with the exception of healthcare workers, unlike the blitz, few have witnessed its horrors firsthand. And perhaps public health advisories seem illusory — not quite real — astounding statistics of lives lost to COVID-19 may seem just that — statistics. And yet, in the early months of 2020 before we had even heard of Covid-19 in New Jersey several generations came together for a large family gathering and within the next several weeks five family members were dead.
Unlike any in our lifetime, this holiday season we need to step back and weigh potential risks to our loved ones at a time when the virus is on the rise, and in some areas hospitals are filled to capacity. Health officials have requested that we limit holiday celebrations to our immediate family with no more than 10 people in the group, hold events outdoors whenever possible, and when that is not possible to turn up the heat and open the windows to increase ventilation and the frequency of air exchange in our homes. According to health officials, a vaccine may be on the horizon and we can always hold a larger event in the months to come once this crisis is behind us.
Safeguarding our health and that of our loved ones must come first. But once we have done our best to ensure that there will be many more holiday celebrations in the years ahead, even at a time like this there is still so much for which we can be grateful.
In this issue, we share the photography of local landscape photographer Barry Bailey. Our great State of Colorado is second to none in its beauty. We also share things you can do to make even a small gathering a special event. And we take a look at an old-time recipe from early settlers in Fort Collins.
And as this holiday season starts off there is still time to send your aunt, your uncle, or your grandparents, whom you may not have seen for months, a letter slipped in a holiday card, the kind they will keep the remainder of their days. Less daunting than it seems, you select a card, address and stamp the envelope and then grab a piece of copy paper and tell them how much you miss them and look forward to seeing them again once the threat of the virus has been contained — misspellings, poor grammar, believe me, these don’t matter at a time like this. And for those with more tech-savvy elders, call them to make a Zoom appointment for Thanksgiving Day.
And before you tuck into your own feast, beforehand, find out what restaurants deliver in your elder family’s area and make arrangements to have a gourmet meal delivered to your elders on Thanksgiving Day, perhaps in a faraway state. Then on Thanksgiving, you can show them your feast and they can show what was delivered — might be fun. But you get the idea that with today’s technology there’s no limit to ways you can show that you are thinking about and miss so much those whom this year you cannot be with.
Our staff joins me in wishing you the best of health and happiness as we enter the 2020 holiday season, unprecedented in our lifetimes.
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