Americans knew back in March the coronavirus was infectious and dangerous and a return to normalcy eventually would require a vaccine.

Defeating covid-19 was always going to be a slog requiring commitment and sacrifice.

November presents a difficult test because the nation is caught in another surge of cases as part of an intensifying outbreak. Colder weather means more people are spending time inside. It’s also flu season.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged her constituents to “cancel” normal Thanksgiving get-togethers. Gov. J.B. Pritzker threatened he will institute a statewide lockdown if necessary.

Both Lightfoot and Pritzker joined celebrations out in the streets for Joe Biden’s presumptive victory, which seemed quite contrary — we’re being generous — to their constant finger-wagging to stay home and avoid crowds.

Lightfoot told a national news station: “Yes, there are times when we actually do need to have ... relief and come together, and I felt like that was one of those times. That crowd was gathered whether I was there or not, but this has been a super hard year on everyone. Everyone feels traumatized.”

There are times when we need to come together? Like the holidays?

What we do know is we’re worn out — from the politicians not following their own dictates to the evolving, mandated protocols and to the shear isolation of staying home. Progress against the virus feels fleeting.

Thanksgiving is coming, and both Pritzker and Lightfoot are legitimately worried about spread. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the week after are the busiest air travel days of the year.

Our best, most optimistic advice is to take on Thanksgiving and the holiday season as joyful variations on a theme, which means find different, safe ways to celebrate and give thanks.

Holding smaller gatherings is a reasonable ask. Thanksgiving is not canceled.

But expecting a nation to stay in lockdown mode indefinitely is not realistic.

Shutdowns have inflicted devastating economic consequences for families and business owners.

— Chicago Tribune


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