Opinion: Being together for Thanksgiving is wonderful. But not this year

We all love Thanksgiving, maybe me more than most. I love to cook, and y’all know I can eat. We always bust out the best wines, and of course being together is wonderful.

But not this year.

It is just not safe enough. The coronavirus is still calling the shots, and even in the Bay Area the numbers are going up. As Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody and Dr. Anthony Fauci both have said, we may be in for a hard winter. Too many people are just not following the rules. Six feet. Mask. Don’t gather together.

We all know what we should do, yet so many of us don’t do it. I think the problem is in our DNA. Simply put, we are not cut out for this.

What is true today was true 300,000 years ago: A human is one of the most fragile, most defenseless newborn animals around. We are naked, unlike most animals who are born covered with scales or fur or an exoskeleton.

A baby giraffe starts life by plummeting six feet to the ground … and then stands up. We humans need a whole year, and for that year, we are completely dependent on touch. For protection, for feeding, for feeling loved. Human touch keeps us alive. Not just our mother’s touch; the whole village keeps infants safe.

After more than a quarter-million years, not much has changed. By the time we reach adulthood we crave touch so much that after a work week surrounded by others, we pack dance floors and nightclubs and bars because we just need more! It helps explain the anti-maskers who blame the government, somehow, for their rights being squashed. Hey, people act out when they are told to fight their base instinct.

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When we’re with family, even when we try to do the right thing, there’s the “let’s take a group photo” moment. We say we’ll stay outside on the patio, but what happens when it gets cold? “Oh, it will be fine.” Many of us are simply incapable of believing that our favorite granddaughter could give us COVID-19. Have you, without thinking, accidentally hugged someone since March? I have.

So I get it, and I know it’s awful and exhausting and that you’ve “had it” with the restrictions. Me too. But we must try as hard as we can to hang on.

Here’s the good news: The same brain that’s hard-wired to seek physical touch is also complex enough to fight our urges. Humans are said to be warlike by nature, yet millions choose peace every day. It is said we fear those different from us, yet so many of us fight racism. Is marriage in our nature? Some say no, but lots of us make it last a lifetime.

More good news: We’re getting close to a vaccination and really smart people are working on a plan. We just need to stay strong and make the hard choices a little longer. That’s why Mrs. Wilder and I won’t be opening our home …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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