The experts are giving us clear advice this Thanks giving: stay home, don’t have your family visit. Their warnings are laced with equal parts concern and incredulity that people would do such dangerous things as fly right now. In some cases, the pundits seem to imply that the people who are traveling must be MAGA-hatters who don’t believe the virus is real or at the very least not very smart.

“Remember, this is temporary,” they tell us. “There is always next year.”

Is there?

We feel some days that we are living in end times. More than a million of our fellow Americans have come down with COVID-19; more than a quarter of a million have died. and the curve seems to be climbing unabated. That’s aside from normal causes of death: cancer, car crashes, heart attacks, suicides, strokes, etc. None of us are vouchsafed a single minute. Tomorrow I could be hit by a bus. The day after, you could have a fatal heart attack.

The nature of the pandemic only intensifies the sense of urgency. If you die from COVID-19 you die alone. And the people who love you are robbed of the experience of saying goodbye in person as you slip from this earth.

We need each other. We need the people in our lives who add depth and love.

I understand this. The Red-Headed Menace and his partner, The Very Smart Partner, quarantined for two whole weeks so that they would be able to join our household bubble for the holiday. I understand the caution, too. Had they not been able to quarantine, we would have simply dropped off the turkey and trimmings on their doorstep. It’s not worth the risk.

I do not want the experts and tv anchors and newspapers to stop warning us. The pandemic is real and dangerous, and we need to be careful so that we can avoid taking this third wave worse.

I just want them to be more compassionate about it.

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