Many people are considering traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday week, but some are choosing to spend the holiday alone.
Mothers such as Erica Guerrero are forced to do it. Her husband is on a ventilator fighting for his life against the coronavirus, and it’s their four-month-old daughter’s first Thanksgiving.
Erica is taking her family’s situation day-by-day. She is thankful her baby girl and their older daughter are healthy.
Although her husband is in the hospital and she is forced to quarantine, Erica’s family surrounds her through technology.
Last Thanksgiving, Val and Erica Guerrero spent the holiday surrounded with love and family. This year, Val is in the hospital.
Erica will spend it worrying about him and taking care of their baby.
“I never imagined that we would be experiencing this,” Erica said. “It is really difficult.”
Erica tells us that love never left. She feels it when she video chats her family or talks to them on social media. It’s been the only way she’s been able to talk to them for weeks and the only way she’ll be able to see them Thursday.
“Val would still want us to do something, but, I personally, I am not really up to it,” Erica said. “I don’t think I’m going to be up for anything without my husband with us.”
Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a licensed mental health counselor, tells us that’s how everyone separated from their families this holiday season should look at it. She says take this time to reach out to loved ones and connect with them virtually
“Even if it isn’t the best way, we can still zoom with family members and do things,” Streyffeler said. “It is not the same, but it’s not that we have to disconnect completely. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing this Thanksgiving.”
Streyffeler says it’s important to remember and be grateful for the things we do have and not just the things that frustrate us about the pandemic during the holidays. Experts think we’ll be relying on technology to connect with our families for a little while longer.
Although the separation is hard, Erica told me her family and coworkers are still making she has a Thanksgiving this year. They’re bringing her plates, so she can feel a part of the celebrations.
“The spirit of being together is still there,” Erica said. “It’s just not physically happening.”