On June 15, 2019, exactly one month after her 72nd birthday, my active, healthy mother-in-law died of a sudden heart attack.
We had attended a big family wedding the night before. Kitty, her nickname, spent most of the night on the dance floor with the four loves of her life—my two daughters and two nieces. Her last words to me as she kissed me goodbye were “you looked beautiful tonight.”
Twenty four hours later, I was in an emergency room staring at her lifeless body in disbelief as my husband stood in shock and my sister-in-law held her mother’s hand crying “no no no” over and over.
Kitty wasn’t just my mother-in-law, she was my dear friend of 25 years. She was beautiful inside and out; the best mother, grandmother, and friend anyone could have. As I told a grieving crowd packed into Chicago’s oldest Catholic church for her funeral, you knew Kitty was special because how many women ask their daughter-in-law to deliver their eulogy? (If you’re Irish Catholic, you know that funerals are planned by the living years in advance.)
When she died, we lost the heart and the glue of our family. Our traditions, especially the annual Thanksgiving gathering which became more precious as everyone got older, abruptly and cruelly ended without warning. Millions of families can relate.
Which is why there’s only one response to anyone suggesting families shouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving together this year because of COVID-19: Go to hell.
“Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.”
That is not a passage from some dystopian novel or a command by a Marxist dictator or a parody in The Onion. It’s guidance posted on the Centers for Disease Control website courtesy of the United States government. Think about that: Some federal bureaucrat, probably a highly credentialed “expert” with a messianic complex, is telling 330 million Americans that they should not sing. In their own homes. So they don’t spread a mostly harmless virus to other people.
And that’s only one part of the lengthy decree detailing how, when, and where families should gather. People who refuse to organize a preposterous “virtual” dinner and selfishly meet in person, the CDC admonishes, should “avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others not from their household.” Masks should be worn at all times and relatives from different households should stay six feet apart.
Too cold to host the festivities outside? The CDC will allow an outdoor tent but it must have one wall open so the deadly COVID-19 droplets don’t accumulate and infect the guests.
None of it, of course, is backed by science. It’s make-it-up-as-you-go scientism. But governors and the news media shamefully promote all of it.
Yet even those punitive rules aren’t enough to satisfy the petty tyrants who occupy the corner offices of government. Emboldened by the unquestioned and alarming submission demonstrated by the majority of Americans under the guise of “public health,” these wannabe dictators are out to ruin the holidays.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the architects of the country’s ongoing nightmare, suggested Thanksgiving dinner could be a fatal event. Fauci, 79, and his wife won’t be with their three daughters but instead will celebrate online. “Well, I’m an elderly person,” Fauci said during one of his nonstop media interviews. “My wife and I are going to have dinner together, a quiet dinner. We’re going to get on Zoom. And we’re going to talk and smile and laugh and drink and eat with our children, who are doing it distantly and virtually.”
Fauci this week warned Americans to “do what you’re told.”
Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, offered his own ideas. (He and his wife, like the Faucis, refuse to spend Thanksgiving with their family.)
For example, the good doctor suggests, send gifts to your loved ones. “Who wouldn’t want to receive some home-baked goodies, a basket of fresh fruit, or a festive wreath?” Collins wrote on his NIH blog. “If you enjoy knitting, candle making, or other ways of crafting gifts for the holidays, now’s the time to start planning for Thanksgiving through the New Year.”
It’s beyond laughable, but this isn’t a joke. These people are serious. And they should receive a collective middle finger from the American people.
If there’s any upside to this God-awful year, it’s the revelation that the people in charge are inhumane sociopaths consumed with their own egos and lust for power. The nation—and the world—is being subjected to a destructive pseudoscientific experiment that has failed spectacularly in its stated mission to “stop” COVID-19 while inflicting an economic, educational, and personal toll that never will be fully calculated.
Everyone has suffered but no one has been punished for unleashing this slow-moving catastrophe. To the contrary, the cabal of culpable government leaders are digging in their boot heels to crush the collective spirit of the country. At a time when people need to be with their friends and families the most, a time when the soul-soothing routine of the holidays has never been more necessary, the government’s soulless apparatchiks seek to strip away our last vestiges of joy.
These people are not healthy. They don’t care about you or your child or your elderly parent. They care only about power and control. They should be mocked then ignored. Sadly, however, millions of brainwashed Americans will dutifully comply. Cherished moments will be forsaken without any guarantee they’ll return next holiday season.
I think of Kitty every day. In a way, I’m glad she’s not here to see what’s happening to this country; she’d be sick with worry for her granddaughters and the rest of her family. But if she were here, we’d proceed with our usual holiday customs without fear—and with lots of hugs and singing and no social distancing.
Avoiding death is not living. Sacrificing time with the people you love the most isn’t noble; it’s cruel both to them and you. And none of it is necessary.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving—and give the COVID shamers the bird.