Hispanics from the Big Apple cancel the big ‘Thankgiving’ meetings for fear of a second wave of COVID-19 | The State

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In his cramped apartment in the Bronx, with the traditional turkey that you already keep seasoned in your refrigerator and totally away from your relatives, Thanksgiving Day will pass for the quisqueyana Carmen López, 61, who due to the rigor imposed by the coronavirus was forced to bet this year on loneliness. After years in the Big Apple living one of the parties that most integrates New Yorkers, but that this 2020, the pandemic forces them to distance themselves.

“My friend who lives in Connecticut, where he always traveled to a dinner where a large number of people went, unfortunately is very serious with COVID-19. I will be alone this year, by a personal decision and also by common sense, ”shared Carmen.

The immigrant narrates that she has come from overcoming depressive symptoms because during the months of economic closure and quarantine she lived through this process completely alone. She says that she works taking care of children and therefore it is imperative that she not only think about her, but to avoid being a source of contagion for others.

“For a year that is not celebrated, nothing happens. I think precisely the pandemic came to remind us the value of family affection and of our friends. In addition to those of us who have had to be separated for months. Despite all these adversities, we must connect with the fact that we always have something to be thankful for “, he referred.

For the first time since she came to the Big Apple, the Quisqueyan Carmen López will be alone on ‘Thanksgiving’ day. (Photo: F. Martínez)

Tip: Avoid Big Meetings

Like Carmen, hundreds of Hispanic immigrants from the Big Apple who have become involved with the only commemoration of the country that unites around the table to all cultures and religions that coexist here, they decided to put a break from the large meetings of the last Thursday of each November.

The recommendation of the New York Health authorities in the face of the dangerous escalation of the rate of infection by COVID-19 in the five boroughs, is precisely to avoid large gatherings in the holidays that are to come, to put a wall to a second wave of infection that everything indicates is just around the corner.

For that reason, the 67-year-old retired Dominican Victoria AlmonteHe decided to cancel the meeting with his loved ones that for more than 20 years he has held around turkey, vegetables and desserts, but also with his Caribbean adaptations of beans and the sonorous joy of meringue.

“Unfortunately this year I will be alone with my grandson. I will prepare the food so as not to lose tradition. Although my three daughters who live here will not be able to come to see me. The virus is growing in the city. And how now it’s very easy to get tested I have some friends and family who have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, ”said Victoria, who lives on 86th Street with Amsterdam Avenue, in Manhattan.

Victoria Almonte will not be with her three daughters this ‘Thankgiving’. (Photo; F. Martínez)

Close another way

Specifically one of the insistence of the City during the last week has been Urge New Yorkers to Take the Coronavirus Discard Test, looking for the free alternatives that they have in each neighborhood. It is one of the key strategies for asymptomatic carriers isolate and are not a source of contagion that can translate into pain.

Further, it is recommended not to travel to nearby states and visit family members outside the city, an exhortation that has been brought to the fore in recent hours by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We have suffered a lot with this pandemic. That is why those of us who are alive and do not get sick should give thanks more than ever. We have to be thankful, but also prevent. Call our families on the phone. Being close in another way ”, recommends Victoria who in 1981 emigrated from his native Santo Domingo to the Big Apple.

The celebration of ‘Thankgiving’ that precedes Christmas and to the celebrations of New Year, the most festive for the Christian and Hispanic calendar, imposes rules of social distancing that some like the Peruvian Julio Montesinos, 55, he is not willing to comply in the extreme.

“My mother is already 95 years old. I understand that it is high risk. But neither are we going to leave her lying in the center where she is cared for in Queens. Maybe it’s the last parties that we have her alive. With my sister who lives in New Jersey we decided that we are going to meet and we are going to spoil her. What God wants! ”Exclaimed Julio, a construction‘ master builder ’ resided in Brooklyn.

The South American immigrant narrates that during the “hard days” of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, in the nursing home where his mother is interned in Kew Garden, several contracted the virus and died.

“It is assumed that the men who died were isolated and yet they were infected. We went four months without seeing my mother. We will take the measurements. But we will be with her, ”Julio insisted.

Yanis Fernández has established conditions to sit at his table: Take the test! (Photo: F. Martínez)

Get tested first

The Health authorities Recommend that Thanksgiving dinners only include a cap of 10 people or less. That way if there is a COVID-19 outbreak at a family gathering it can be easier to track the virus and avoid dreaded uncontrollable sprawl in the city.

Therefore, the meetings of previous years that included large groups ended, at least this year, to the Dominican Yanis Fernández, 80 years old, who estimates that no more than five people will gather for his Thanksgiving dinner. And with some conditions.

“All who come they must first be tested for COVID-19. Period! ”, Reacted who came to New York City since 1965 and for more than four decades has celebrated this holiday.

“Despite everything, we immigrants must give thanks to this country where honest work allows you to achieve your goals. Just the fact of being alive after this pandemic is a reason for gratitude. And that is exactly what this party means for a person who has lived quite a lot like me, “said Yanis, who for years worked as an auto mechanic in various locations in the city. Today he lives in ‘Salsa County’.

The biggest party in the USA

  • 55 million people in the country they traveled from one city to another just to have dinner with family or friends last year, it is estimated that this year these trips will be reduced to much less than half.

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