How to Be Thankful This Thanksgiving: Tune Out the Terrible World

LEANING RIGHT--While there are many Americans who are--first and foremost--thankful for the results of the long-awaited 2020 election, we're still entering a REAL "second wave" of the COVID-19 pandemic and a nation where huge numbers doubt or even reject the veracity of the election results.

Anxiety is frightfully high, and peace of mind is frightfully low: 

1) As an American first, I wish Joe Biden the best of luck in leading this nation through difficult times. While I have grave concerns about how he can please both progressives and conservatives alike, it doesn't mean I don't wish him well...particularly because while I am thankful that HE wants to heal the nation, other forces besides and surrounding him are anything but interested in any healing. Be THANKFUL that tomorrow is another day to fix our nation.

2) But tune out this terrible, pandemic-laden, economically depressed nation and world and focus on your family. It's hard to keep politics out of discussion over the dinner table...but if you're divided politically, then be thankful you're still together. Do NOT let any political force, from either the Left or the Right, take away your shared past. Perhaps a focus on childhood memories as the center of a holiday conversation is the way to go. Be THANKFUL for family.

3) Yes, there's COVID-19. But there's also common sense. Wash your hands. Stay away from others. Use your masks in crowded venues but then take them off if you distanced from others and breathe freely the air God gave us to take in and taste life. Don't let any "expert" tell you that Thanksgiving should be cancelled but be smart and don't crowd around your family (and postpone the gigantic holiday family feast until next year). Be THANKFUL for common sense (and use it!).

4) There are flu vaccines--take them...or stay away from others (your choice). There will be COVID-19 vaccines--take them...or stay away from others (your choice). As a physician, I am one of those who intend to get a vaccine ASAP (I'm leaning towards the Moderna vaccine, although I toy with the idea of hedging my bets and taking maybe TWO if I'm allowed to do so). Be THANKFUL for any "Trump Vaccine" or "Biden Administration Plan"...and PRAY for a better 2021.

5) There are restaurants being hammered by lockdown threats and orders, while Gavin Newsom and his cronies alike break his own rules. Be THANKFUL there is a potential mechanism to recall Governor Newsom.

6) The Entertainment Industry apparently is exempt from Governor Newsom's Stay-At-Home Order. I guess that's because... they're better than the rest of us, like the California Medical Association leaders/lobbyists who ate dinner with Newsom? Again, be THANKFUL there is a potential mechanism to recall Governor Newsom.

7) From the Brooklyn political elites to the Washington elites, hypocrisy abounds with respect to the lockdowns to come. Perhaps Americans are ALL getting sick of getting their rights and joys denied them, and the desire to get past the pandemic will be greater than ever. Hence, it's not likely that we'll not see too many sheriffs and law-enforcement officers picking on families who celebrate...quietly and privately, and THANKFULLY so, at that.

Be THANKFUL for a shared desire an end to the miseries that 2020 had to offer (although there's certainly more time in this year, to be certain, for more thrills and chills!). 

But most of all...be THANKFUL that each and every one of you are here for a reason, and be THANKFUL that you've got your whole life to reach out and figure out that reason, and then pursue that reason with all you've got.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)