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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Seeing Family on Thanksgiving Is Too Important to Bow to the Mob

There are worse things than COVID-19—and isolation and loss of the family unit are chief among them.

Image Credit: Flickr - Dianne Rosete | CC BY 2.0

In response to the coronavirus crisis, the government has enacted many authoritarian measures reminiscent of dystopian novels.

Millions of Americans had their livelihoods ripped away by draconian lockdowns, their businesses essentially seized, and their income curtailed. Authorities have implemented curfews, eviscerated the arts and culture, shut down churches, and put harsh restrictions on everyday movement. 

Yet it’s deeply unpopular and risky to speak out against any of these things. Those who do are painted as selfish and “anti-science,” even as their predictions age well while the authorities’ edicts do not.  

But of all the mandates imposed on us over the past nine months, rules limiting familial gatherings are the most concerning. 

They have told people to stay home alone and connect with others virtually, as if it was the same. Media scolds have told families it’s selfish to see their elderly loved ones, while many politicians have attempted to limit the number of people allowed in one’s home, and holiday gatherings have been discouraged or banned.

The ramifications from these isolating policies have been swift and sure. 

A new report shows that nearly half of all 18 to 24 year-olds are showing signs of “at least moderate” depression. Other surveys show similar numbers among Americans of all ages. And trends indicate that suicide is claiming far more lives than usual this year (although we’re still waiting on final data).

It is no surprise that those in power have chosen to use a crisis as a means to seize and expand their power. It is also not a coincidence that so many on the Left have willingly obliged with these draconian policies and continue to indicate they would support a second wave of lockdowns when polled. 

After all, they’re able to use the shutdowns to argue for universal basic income, unilateral government control of our healthcare system, and an expansion of social services—policies they’ve wanted all along.

Similarly, there are many on the far Left whose ultimate goals for society include the abolition of the family, and to that end, the push for individuals to spend their days in isolation works marvelously. 

Both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the most prominent intellectual leaders of the communist movement, called for the end of the family unit in their works, claiming this structure promoted the patriarchy and capitalism. Other radical feminists have raged against pregnancy, motherhood, and traditional families as means of oppression. 

This is due to one simple fact: Progressives want to eradicate inequality, an impossible feat. Even if they were able to nationalize all industries and incomes, inequality would still present itself.

Some people are born with greater abilities. Meanwhile, others are born to parents who invest more time in them, and the diversity of family units present varying advantages. Instead of recognizing this basic and immutable aspect of human nature and attempting to create a world with equal opportunities for all, adherents to this philosophy instead seek to break down any and all institutions, even those that increase the quality of life for most.

Ultimately, these men and their resulting ideology envisioned a society where all people were equally dependent on the state, where children were publicly raised, and where familial bonds were done away with. If you ascribe to their ideology, it makes sense. Families provide for each other in a myriad of ways, and their bonds prevent individuals from being vulnerable—and thus from depending on the government.

Not so during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The elderly are left unprotected in group homes, isolated and without access to their children to care for them. Young adults are shut in tiny studio apartments with little exposure to friends, scared to travel to see their families. Empty-nesters are prohibited from seeing their grandchildren, and young parents are left to fend for themselves with small children and increased responsibility as school and work move to the home. Marriages are being pushed to the brink under the added stress.

Our familial bonds are being tested and strained, during the largest global crisis any of us have ever faced. We need our support systems now more than ever. But to assert this basic premise is in and of itself an act of defiance. There will be no shortage of people in line to criticize or condemn you if you choose to thwart the narrative and fight to see your family on Thanksgiving Day. 

Do it anyways. 

Take precautions, such as wearing face masks or social distancing, if you feel the need or if you have relatives with pre-existing conditions. But don’t abandon each other as we head into the holiday season and winter months. There are worse things than COVID-19—and isolation and loss of the family unit are chief among them.

  • Hannah Cox is the former Content Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education.