PHOENIX — It is a bittersweet Thanksgiving for an Arizona family who is celebrating as the COVID-19 pandemic hits close to home for them.
Jamie Wong just learned that both her mother and father have been hospitalized after contracting the virus a few days ago. Both of them in their late 60s, have been on oxygen.
"My parents have always been so cautious, but now they're both in the hospital with COVID-19," said Wong.
Despite the news, her family tried to keep their spirits up as they went through the motions of putting together the best Thanksgiving feast that they could.
"We make enough food for 30 people but there's only six of us to eat it," said Wong.
Like so many others throughout the country, the Wongs were celebrating a much smaller Thanksgiving this year, not the big party full of cousins, nieces, and nephews as they are accustomed to.
Despite the festive spirit and smiles, there was worry and anxiety over the health of their parents.
Wong said she knew the upcoming week was going to be crucial in determining how her parents would respond to the treatments they were getting for COVID-19. This treatment included Regeneron, which is the antibody cocktail administered to President Donald Trump after he contracted coronavirus.
"I wouldn't want a single person on the planet to go through what we're going through right now," said Wong. "It is a little surreal to me that this happened to my parents, but I am grateful that the front line is there to help them right now."
"What my family is trying to do right now is to get through the next 60 days on top of hoping my parents will be okay," said Wong.
She added that everyone in her family took the virus very seriously, wore masks, and tried to stay away from large gatherings as much as they could, but she realized it would take a community effort to help the nation get through this pandemic.
"If we all just do a little bit better there are going to be lives that are saved between now and when we all get the vaccine. We are so close to that happening," said Wong.
As her family sat down to share the Thanksgiving meal, they recounted their blessings of good health and each other.
Wong said her family had gratitude discussions often around the dinner table. Another new tradition they started this year was opening presents on Thanksgiving, giving themselves a second Christmas of sorts.
"Our rationale is we can't spend money on traveling, so let's just have an extra Christmas. So, we're opening Christmas presents on Thanksgiving too," she laughed, adding it seemed fitting for what will go down as the year of the global pandemic in world history books.