Blanksgiving Day 2020

COVID-19 infected both me and my Dad, and while I was totally asymptomatic, he died in October

By Dave Skinner

Gosh, Thanksgiving already? Is everyone feeling that holiday spirit? Well, I’m feeling something, but it’s a far cry from the Thanksgiving spirit that results from gathering with loved ones near and far, giving thanks together for the year past and encouraging one another’s hopes for tomorrow.

Yes, there’s tons to be thankful for, and I am, as we all should be. Heck, I’m alive, still able to wake up every day as a citizen of the greatest nation ever on Earth, which beats all the other alternatives. But my Dad isn’t. COVID-19 infected us both, probably at the same time, despite masking, distancing and sanitizing. I was totally asymptomatic, but he died in October.

I’m thankful for the Thanksgivings I had, with all my parents, but he was the last and we weren’t quite through with each other. But we are done, forever, just like that – do I say thanks to COVID? Or is something else appropriate? Let’s try it:

Blank you, COVID. Six ways to Sunday! Feel better? I do.

While we’re at it, a comradely blank you to Chinese Communist Politburo Chairman Xi and his minions, for their fantastic efforts keeping the severity of last fall’s outbreak in Wuhan a state secret. Pure genius!

Imagine yourself sitting with the chairman, after you’ve scrabbled and scratched yourself into a seat on the Politburo. Imagine asking, how better to maintain China’s global geostrategic position (and your own, of course) than to enforce silence until every nation in the world has unwitting carriers within their borders? How better to ensure that all regions, not just a self-isolating China, would crash to the bottom of the global economy? Could a real biological weapon have done more total damage? Many blanks, comrades.

How about our leaders here in America? Did the White House and Congress put the best interests of ordinary Americans above their own political positioning, or copy the Politiburo’s lead? Did anyone stay on the right course without flip-flopping depending on the day of the week? A few – who deserve thanks. To the rest, blank you all.

What of the, um, “high net worth” people, secretive zillionaire oligarchs who funded all those sleazy advertisements that further politicized and putrefied COVID policy, putting millions of Americans at unnecessary risk? Blank you, too.   

How about those responsible for chopping through the rent-seeking political sludge so the public would be objectively well-informed, maybe even well enough not to hoard, of all things, toilet paper? Who could have spent some of that oligarch cash on, um, journalism? Blank you, news media.

So much for Dave’s “Blanksgiving 2020,” but those who helped make this year such a turkey really earned those blanks.

Despite all that, there’s much and many still worthy of Thanksgiving: Say, the millions of voters who, despite all the blanks above, still managed to vote rationally – defying elite expectations to convert billions in self-serving, grossly-manipulative political “investment” into a total loss.

I’m also thankful for my many, many fellow citizens who have kept their wits about them during this catastrophe, hanging in there, choosing to do the right things because they are right, not because of ideology or some government decree. Most of us do what we know is essential because we recognize that we are all essential in our own ways, in our own circles. Yes, some of us have found out the hard way that the right things simply aren’t enough yet. But we’ll press on, and when the right thing is enough? Yep, I’m getting vaccinated, after those more at risk have gotten theirs.

I’m especially thankful for and grateful to every single American worker who, in health care, service, public safety and other essential positions, keeps jumping between the jaws of the COVID tiger day in and day out, because that’s who they are, what they do, and will do for as long as necessary.

Thanksgiving 2020 is unlike any other in memory, totally unique. So is Blanksgiving, I guess – here’s to Thanksgiving 2021 being just like always, forever.

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