We’re all rolling on up toward the holidays, and I want everyone who has any connection to me, either positive or negative, to have a good one. There’s been a ton of research coming out this last couple of weeks that many of the COVID-19 ritualistic class would find upsetting. But in the spirit of the season, I’m going to put it aside, and give a little space to everyone.

At the same time, there’s some things to point out. Last week, Jared Polis, the Democrat governor of Colorado, in the face of a modest increase in COVID-19 cases, elected to not reimplement any new nonpharmaceutical interventions, or NPIs. He stated publicly that the adjacent state to the south of his border, with basically identical climate, New Mexico, was also seeing a surge, and they had gone all-in on the various NPIs, with absolutely no difference in public health performance.

This was, and is, a major break in how a Democratic governor would typically handle the situation. Turning his back from CDC guidance into a more pragmatic approach, Polis knows what he is doing. I’m only one degree removed from his leadership team, and I see someone preparing for a run for the White House. The blinkered corporate media press corps can’t even see someone like Polis, though he checks many of the boxes for the politically correct class. He’s a technocratic humanist, worth north of $300 million, a gay male, as well as a solid family man (he has two children) and someone with solid values. He would be such an enormous upgrade in the Oval Office. And 2024 may be a new era in federal history.

My guess is that he’ll not be running against Donald Trump — Trump is one and done. Instead, he’ll likely be running against Ron DeSantis, the governor who ran the control on COVID-19 for the rest of the nation, and basically came out on top. DeSantis is not a tech multimillionaire, but understands business, and has also demonstrated the backbone to stand up to the corporate media chattering class, who day by day become both more incoherent and irrelevant.

That’s the big prediction for this week. So let’s get back to Thanksgiving. What’s my advice?

Have it. Have your friends and family over. Don’t torment them with COVID-19. Don’t torment, especially, their children with COVID-19. Children need happy times in their lives. Those memories of joy that many of us have really serve as a foundation of stability for the times when our lives don’t work out.

And there’s one rule on who’s on, or off, the invite list. Are they, or are they not a relational disruptor? If Aunt Karen is going to run around at the party and shame people for not wearing a mask, she’s off the list. If Uncle Buck, the diehard Trump supporter, is going to own the libs, he can watch football home alone. We all need a break.

I’m not quite convinced that the characters described above actually exist in quantity. Rather, I think that they, too, are inventions of the corporate media designed to keep us away from each other. We don’t attend events because first, we fear that they are unpleasant, and secondly, because we’ve been programmed in the last two years that we’re going to all get sick and die.

The first one I think we can fix through our own personal discipline and love for the people around us. The second, with whatever prophylactic measures you desire, really eliminates the more fatal consequences. You can control the quality of your own health.

And here’s the thing — whether you’re of one mind as a family on whatever the issues of the day are, or you’re a diverse group of individuals spread across the vaccination spectrum, talking to other people will ground you. And I guarantee it will make your brain healthier.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pezeshki is a professor in mechanical and materialsengineering at Washington State University.

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