I am still baffled by the fact that we are about to enter our 11th month of the effects COVID-19 has had on our world. I think what strikes me the most is how quickly life changed and now feels normal...except of course being stuck at home, not being able to gather together with friends, or go out to eat inside a restaurant. New words have cemented themselves in our everyday vocabulary… words like masks, Zoom, virtual, quarantine, pandemic, etc. And let me ask you something… when was the last time you saw people become giddy about talking about when they were getting a shot? The funny thing is, as someone who has always dreaded shots, I am actually excited to get one as well.
What I find interesting is that while the majority of us have accepted this aspect of life, we still find ourselves testing the limits of what public health officials have established as guidelines and how far we can push and still stay within the boundaries they have set up. Take for instance this weekend.
As you may have seen or heard, this Sunday is the Super Bowl (he says sarcastically). While not religiously based (except for the diehard football fans), it is a non-official holiday that traditionally brings people together – football fans and non-football fans alike. Sadly, like so many of our other holidays during these 11 months, we find ourselves at the crossroads of a decision that many have to make. Do we follow the guidelines against large group gatherings, especially indoors, or do we take our chances?
This is the same question that we faced with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s, etc. And I think we have all seen the impact that our collective decisions have had on the number of COVID infections following these holidays. What will happen after this Sunday? Will our numbers remain where they are, or will they once again rise and put even more people at risk?
While we cannot control what other people decide, we can control our choices. We need to make the decision about what is more important for this specific moment and how our actions can impact other people, not just ourselves. Do we need to watch this one game in-person with our friends and family or could we bypass this experience this year so we could have many, many more opportunities in the future?
Please keep this idea in mind and remember, just because you are not able to gather in person does not mean that you cannot enjoy Sunday’s festivities. After all, you can still keep your Super Bowl menu intact. And as a bonus, you won’t need to fight for who gets the last buffalo wing.