Celebrating for Thanksgiving 2020

November 25, 2020 11:18
Photo: Reuters

Every year we celebrate Thanksgiving a month before Christmas, reflect and prepare a better year ahead.

This year will be a little special. We may not be able to celebrate with a lot of people due to COVID-19 and we may not have a lot to celebrate.

Around the globe, fewer people would fly back home for reunion because of the travel ban. Party, or bars – at least in Hong Kong - is banned in what has become the “fourth wave” due to the increasing number of infected cases worldwide.

We can still have turkey but perhaps we want a smaller one.

It is not easy to think of some good reasons to celebrate after we were mostly stuck at home for much of the year.

Many of us haven’t been going out for dinner for a long time, partly because of the headcount or table restriction, and mostly because we dare not to go out.

Although we have no idea when the pandemic will be over - hopefully in months, not years - we are luckily – surviving by working from home.

Even Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, has not visited office since March. He has now a simpler schedule without business travel, conference and fund-raising and more time for family and more importantly, for reading and sleeping.

Some people would find more time, if not too much, at home, but the new work-life balance should be something to treasure. All told, Hong Kong workers are among the most diligent with longest working hour in the world and we are so familiar with the 9-9-6 (9am to 9pm, six days per week) model.

Of course, those who work from home I know end up working more hours but they also enjoy life without makeup, formal dressing and travelling hours.

For those who are unfortunately made redundant or unemployed, take your time. Right, you cannot travel around the world at this time, but you can still make the best use of your break.

Don’t worry about the future because you are not alone. I took a year off 10 years ago. When I looked back, I only regretted I did not spend the break more wisely.

Interestingly the equity markets and property held up pretty well this time. Dow Jones Index just broke 30,000 points to hit a record high. Hang Seng Index is lagging, so is the residential property market, still things might not be as bad as we thought.

Some might find it suffocating to live in this city since summer under the political climate but luckily it is not a dead end. Thankfully, Britain offers right of abode for those who choose to live there, and perhaps more countries will too.

While there is life, there is hope. One should be thankful for surviving and we will find more reasons for thanksgiving.

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EJ Insight writer