KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Celebrating Thanksgiving this year will be different. People are still pretty sceptical about large gatherings. There are still people who are self-isolating.
The 20 percent or so lucky income assistance recipients who normally go to the homes of family members during holidays told me they will not be doing that this year, because their family has decided not to hold the usual Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving dinners held through different organizations will be cancelled this year. A couple of places might do a takeout meal for Thanksgiving although I did not see any Thanksgiving takeout meals advertised this year.
However this will mean people will have to take that takeout and eat it by their lonesome this year. That, and fewer family thanksgiving dinners means that this year for many people Thanksgiving is going to be full of all-around sadness.
In the early days of the pandemic some articles floated around on social media offered some hope we might see a vaccine by Christmas. However, more recently articles advise us that it may take a whole year ahead before a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.
But I say, “look on the bright side.”
Even though there’s always lots to be thankful for even when you are poor, COVID-19 is not one of those things. However, we can be thankful that science researchers are working on a vaccine.
One of the things that I have learned over the years, sometimes spending time alone by yourself needs to happen. I had a conversation with a couple of people who told me that they are looking forward to being alone at Thanksgiving this year.
These people went back to work recently and as part of adjusting to being back at work, they feel their alone time over Thanksgiving is going to be good for them. These people suggested to me that “if you cannot be around people this Thanksgiving then take the time to be thankful for being alive and be thankful for everything you have around you.”
You can always go for long walks to kill off those three long days over Thanksgiving weekend. Some people say they find walking on our trails is also good for anxiety.
If you are spending Thanksgiving weekend alone by yourself, which many income assistance recipients year after year do anyways, use the Thanksgiving weekend to take in what life has to offer that does not cost money.
That is my advice.
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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