Meredith C. Carroll: The blessings of a pandemic Thanksgiving |

Meredith C. Carroll: The blessings of a pandemic Thanksgiving

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off

Partaking in the customary joy of the season feels chocolate-turkey hollow this year in light of the solemn reality that more than a quarter million Americans have died as a result of COVID-19, which has also directly impacted and adversely affected millions of others.

Yet at the same time that havoc has been wreaked on any semblance of normalcy (RIP, blowing out birthday candles), the pandemic has also managed to confer a few specific gifts on everyday life, including and especially warm acknowledgments of the more mundane yet surprisingly meaningful aspects of the past eight months, such as:

  • Snail mail: As 2020 has proven, reports of its death are greatly exaggerated
  • So many hours in the day, so little occasion to wear pants during any of them
  • Cable TV: what is it good for? (absolutely nothing)
  • Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max (see also: Cable TV)
  • Tiger King (see also: Netflix)
  • Life’s short: So’s the wait to renew your driver’s license (at least at the Glenwood Springs DMV, which the coronavirus has rendered appointment-only).
  • Life’s short: now we eat sugar cereal
  • Life’s short but pandemic days are long: now we plant seeds
  • Summer (and fall, winter and spring) in Aspen
  • Smaller crowds
  • No (or less) rush hour traffic
  • Cheaper plane tickets (downside: can’t travel)
  • More parking spots (downside: fewer businesses open)
  • Lower credit card bills (see also: more parking spots)
  • Lower gas prices: (see also: cheaper plane tickets and more parking spots)
  • More: time to clean (downside: cleaning)
  • More: time to bake (all. the. bread.)
  • More: home cooked meals (upside: pants optional)
  • More: time to exercise (see also: now we eat sugar cereal; more time to bake; more home cooked meals)
  • New dog friends everywhere
  • Lower event attendance, larger significance
  • More compassion and concern for worthy causes
  • The election of not Donald Trump
  • So many hours in the day: at least 25 now, right?
  • So many hours in the day: so much time to think about what you could be doing that you’re not
  • So many hours in the day: more time to drink alcohol
  • Friendlier neighbors (see also: more time to drink alcohol)
  • Day drinking (see also: more time to drink alcohol)
  • Less personal hygiene
  • More personal space (upside: less personal hygiene)
  • Masks: a useful bad-breath shield (see also: less personal hygiene)
  • Masks: a foolproof excuse when forgetting someone’s name
  • CO2 emissions are down, more stars in the sky to count (downside: math)
  • If you have a bad hair day during a pandemic and no one is around to see it, do you really care?
  • Mandatory downtime
  • Less FOMO (see also: mandatory downtime)
  • Less social anxiety (see also: mandatory downtime)
  • Guilt-free downtime (downside: so. much. downtime.)
  • More (virtual) engagement in local schools and government
  • Purposeful > Pricey
  • New quarantine music: ACDC, Drive-By Truckers, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney
  • I So Lounging with Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell (if you know, you know)
  • More outside time (downside: all the sold-out gear)
  • Less dark meat competition at the Thanksgiving table (see also: smaller crowds)
  • More leftovers (upside: pants optional)

More at and on Twitter @MCCarroll.