I’ll be sending this out in an email as well. If you don’t get the email, send me your email address. As long ago as early March, family members have been contacting me about the Family Reunion. Generally speaking, they have shared concerns about two things: keeping our Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents, and Great Grandparents safe; and helping Heit’s Point.
My answer has always been that we have time to decide. We don’t usually post anything about the family reunion until the end of April. The end of April is a little too soon for a lot of our family to start thinking about it, but a little too late for some of our family (especially those who have to travel further).
Well, now it’s a little past the end of April, and I’m going to ask you if it is okay to be patient for a few more weeks. I would like to wait until June 1st before we make a decision. We are under no time constraint as far as making the decision goes and, as we have recently seen, a lot can change in a month.
Here are some of the things that I think about when looking at the Family Reunion this summer. I would encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments on this post.
- We have many older members in our family, and a number who are at a higher risk for various other reasons. It would be rough on all of us if anyone in the family tested positive soon after the Family Reunion and didn’t recover. This is, of course, the worst case scenario for our family. But, while it’s good to recognise the worst case scenario, it isn’t usually a good idea to use that as the only basis for your decision making.
- We do not have to make a decision for everyone else. If some people think it’s a good idea to have a family reunion at Heit’s Point over the 4th of July and some don’t, that would be one way to handle things.
- However, if there was a family reunion and you tried to tell some of our family members that they shouldn’t go (I’m looking at you Aunt Bea and Uncle Lloyd –Mom, don’t read that part to Dad.). Well, I imagine that would go over about as well as trying to tell them they shouldn’t do anything else. For some of our family, it might be better if we did decide as a group.
- We have a large family. Most of us live in Missouri, but we also have 19 families who live in 12 other states. Over 40 family members regularly make it back to Heit’s Point from those states. Missouri recommends a 2 week quarantine for anyone traveling from a “hot spot”. The person I spoke to at the Missouri Department of Health didn’t know what defined a hot spot. However 6 of the other states where we have family members who regularly return are in the top 15 states for cases per population (IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, NE).
- Of the 12 states where we normally have people come for the reunion, 7 of those states have some quarantine requirement for people returning home.
- Heit’s Point is okay with us coming. Family members staying in the same room/tent/RV/cabin is more or less the same as staying in the same house. Of course, if you normally stay with a larger, extended family, group, you might want to plan on additional rooms/tents/RVs/Cabins.
- There doesn’t seem to be any 10 person limit for The Pavilion (because it is outdoors), but Heit’s Point would still recommend that we maintain 6 feet of social distancing when we visit and eat. This would probably require us to sit in family groups when we eat.
- We have family members who have various views on which health recommendations to follow (and different health recommendation in some cases, based on where they live and underlying health conditions). I would not like to see us have arguments at the Family Reunion on whether to wear face masks, or playing together less than 6 feet apart, and all that stuff. It would be a bad outcome if we let our views on this lead to having hard feelings toward each other. But I do think our family is pretty quick to forgive each other. It’s one of the things I love about you all.
- It will be hard to smoke cigars with a face mask on.
- The people I have spoken to (and I agree 100% on this) think that if we don’t have a family reunion this year, we should donate the money that we would have given to Heit’s Point. After all, no matter what happens this year, we want them to be there next year.
- It might not be a good idea for 140 people from 12 states to get together for a few days and then go back to those states. But we will probably know more and be in a better position to make a decision in 4 weeks.
Okay, those are my stupid thoughts. Share your own below, but let’s not argue about them. We are all entitled to our own stupid thoughts. After a few days for people to share their thoughts, I’ll send out a survey asking if you are okay with waiting until June 1 to make a decision.