I won’t be killing off any relatives this Thanksgiving.

It’s a funny thing to be thankful for, but we’re now preparing to gather up, consume far too much food and share a potentially deadly virus every time we pass the gravy boat or taste what’s on the stove with the cooking spoon. It’s something to think about, even if you don’t normally want to strangle a few stray relatives.

Can your 92-year-old grandma survive a bout of pneumonia? How about Uncle Smokestoomuch? Any concern with his ability to quickly get over something resembling bronchitis? How about that little sickly cousin you only see once or twice a year and try not to tease? The new baby?

A fatal gathering is something that can happen, and for all too many families right here in El Campo and/or the western side of Wharton County, it already has taken place.

This is not a Chicken Little approach folks.

Call it caution, call it concern, fear; whatever you like.

The virus is out there and, depending on your age and health, there’s a good chance it will make you miserable for a day, or three, and then you’ll move on. There’s the possibility that you could have it and not even be aware of the situation.

But just how sure are you that Grandpa Barelygetsaround will prove to be as spry?

So grab those proverbial scales folks and balance out the risk versus the reward.

This is not a declaration to boycott Thanksgiving or to avoid your relatives like they’ve got the plague.

This is just a plea to please, please be careful.

There have been a God awful amount of obituaries printed in this paper this year; more than twice what we ran last year.

That’s happening for a reason.

Before you gather around a 23-pound turkey and enough sides to feed a small nation, ask yourself: Are you being safe? Do you realize that test you took last week or last month doesn’t apply to what you have or don’t have right now?

Safety is all anyone is asking for.

Putting on a mask doesn’t protect you so much as it protects anyone you come into contact with during the day.

That six-foot rule? It helps keep you from infecting someone else as much as the other way around.

The same thing works with the urging to wash, wash, wash your hands.

Please, watch out for what you might give grandma this Thanksgiving.

No one here wants to see her picture under the area funeral notice listing next week.

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– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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