“One of President Trump’s top advisers on the coronavirus pandemic raised concerns on Monday about excluding older family members from Thanksgiving celebrations, citing the risks of isolation. Scott Atlas, who has promoted controversial ideas about the virus such as herd immunity… suggested it may be worth including them in holiday gatherings.” — The Hill, 11/17/20

- - -

1. Your 90-year-old grandmother, Marie, lives in Texas — a state where the lieutenant governor has openly stated that older people should be willing to die to save the economy. You would strongly prefer that your grandma not become a capitalist human sacrifice, and you know that visiting her would put her at significant risk of infection.

2. You learn that your arch-nemesis, the most powerful mercenary of the Galactic Empire, is actually your father, and not your father’s killer, as you had previously been led to believe. Infecting him with COVID-19 could be the only way to bring balance to The Force.

3. After a decades-long career teaching middle school math, your Aunt Rose retired to Nebraska, where she quilts blankets for her nieces and nephews and plays Bridge with her local church group. You know she would love to see you, but the only direct flight from New York to Omaha is out of Newark — a city with a 19% test positivity rate that local health officials have called “extremely alarming.”

4. Your uncle, who framed you for your father’s death and then exiled you from the Kingdom, has led the Pride Lands into total ruin thanks to lax environmental regulations and a pack of overzealous hyenas. Sure, you could challenge him to a hand-to-hand fight to the death atop a giant rock that’s somehow also on fire, but wouldn’t death by virus just be easier?

5. Your great-grandfather is 102 years old and landed on Utah Beach with the 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of Normandy. He was later captured and spent 6 months being tortured by the Nazis. After spending most of the winter of 1944 in solitary confinement, he was finally rescued by allied forces in May 1945. He is going to be fine doing one Thanksgiving dinner over Zoom.

6. You are a woman seeking fame in 1920’s Chicago, and the untimely death of your unfaithful husband might be your ticket to stardom. In your defense, he had it coming.

7. You just finished your last midterm, and you’re debating whether or not to spend the Thanksgiving break with your 68-year-old father in Philly. Your school offers free rapid testing, but you also remember that several members of the Trump White House repeatedly tested negative before ultimately testing positive following the Rose Garden superspreader event. Given the risk, you remind yourself that there will be plenty of other opportunities to sit on the couch with your dad and watch the Eagles lose.

8. Your girlfriend, who you recently discovered is also your aunt, is currently using her pet dragon to burn King’s Landing to the ground, along with all of its inhabitants. It dawns on you that generations of inbreeding may not be conducive to producing high-quality leaders; therefore, you probably shouldn’t marry her and rule together on the Iron Throne. You’re not sure if you have the heart to murder her, so if she just happened to die from COVID-19, you wouldn’t exactly be devastated.

9. Your great-grandmother is tough as nails. In 1969, she spent eight weeks single-handedly looking after four toddlers in a studio apartment with no electricity in the middle of the Gulf Coast summer after Hurricane Camille devastated her town. If she can wait two months for the Mississippi Power Company to restore power to a house full of screaming children, then you can wait a couple months until you’re vaccinated before visiting her.

10. You are the Prince of Denmark, and your uncle has just murdered your father and married your mother. You want to get revenge on him, but you’re pretty sure that conspiring to kill him will ultimately lead to a vicious spiral of suicide and murder involving a combination of drowning, poison, stabbing, and poisonous stabbing. Letting the entire royal court die of COVID-19 seems a lot cleaner. You instruct your friend, Horatio, to wear an N95 mask, and he lives to tell your story.

Answer key:

No: 1, 3, 5 ,7, 9
Yes: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10