Hello again. As of this week, it’s not just fall in ours head and on our instagram feeds anymore. Autumn is *officially* upon us. And there’s a lot in store for us this season. Certainly a lot of pumpkin spice, hopefully an apple picking excursion, maybe even some tailgates (because football is happening people). But there’s also a lot of uncertainty and potential discomfort ahead in the next three months.
Halloween is a few weeks away, and it’s already gearing up to look a lot different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That leads to more questions about how Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions may have to change this year too. Meanwhile I’m sitting over here with my head spinning wondering how it’s already almost OCTOBER people!!! Apparently time flies even when we’re not having fun.
In between all of that, there’s the presidential election — perhaps most of the most contentious, divisive and important elections in our nation’s history. It’s literally only 39 days away. The first debate between President Trump and Joe Biden is this coming Tuesday at 9pm ET.
My goal in the next few weeks is to try and stay focused on sweet, simple moments I can find or create to make the days feel festive. That is certain to include some fall movie marathons, lots of mulled wine (more on that coming to the blog soon), gratitude journaling, and burying myself under cozy blankets while catching up on my long list of books to read.
Keep scrolling for this week’s Food for Thought. Wishing you all a safe and relaxing weekend.
Some things to chew on…
- How did the U.S. become the country with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world? One answer — because of a lack of empathy. An intriguing article in The Atlantic explores how this came to be. The author writes that “it’s hard for anyone to comprehend the sheer horror of mass death,” explaining that “‘compassion fade’ sets in when victims are no longer individuals but statistics, and few Americans have witnessed something of this scale before. But there’s an additional explanation for this empathy deficit: Part of the reason this majority-white, majority-non-elderly country has been so blasé about COVID-19 deaths is that mostly Black people and old people are dying.“ I highly recommend this read, for an eye-opening perspective on why we collectively think and act the way we do.
- As I mentioned, we’re in the home stretch of this election year, and voting day is just over a month away. If you haven’t checked in yet, now’s the time. There is A LOT at stake, and tensions are higher than they’ve ever been in my lifetime (and probably a lot longer than that). I understand better than anyone not wanting to engage with all the drama, the back-and-forth, the division. But it’s important for every single one of us to be active participants in creating the society we want to live in. And now more than ever it’s crucial to be able to use your own voice in support of the ideas and issues that matter to you. On that note, I recently came across two insightful and helpful articles from The Good Trade. One dives into How to Emotionally Prepare for the 2020 Election and another explores the ways that you can thoughtfully fact-check your media consumption. As a journalist and former fact-checker, I wholeheartedly stand behind the guidance provided in these articles.
- You knew this was coming, and here it is. There are officially new Halloween Guidelines from CDC out for this year. The agency is encouraging people to abandon traditional trick-or-treating, costume parties, indoor haunted houses and crowded fall festivals this year. Wow that sentence was incredibly depressing to write. On the bright side (I suppose?) there is a whole list of other Halloween activities that can still be safely enjoyed… including outdoor costume parades (with social distancing in place), drive in horror movie marathons, and haunted forests (I guess that’s a thing). Click here to read more about all the CDC’s holiday guidance (which continues to be updated).
Some fun foodie news…
- This year has got a lot of people feeling salty for one reason or another, including Reese’s. The candy company is working on a new version of its peanut butter cups with pretzels added, because, in its own words “to hell with it. It’s 2020.” Reese’s is a mood and we’re all feeling it.
- Something I’m NOT feeling… Kraft’s new Pumpkin Spice Macaroni and Cheese. Up until September 29th, you can enter to win a box of the limited edition product (details in the link above). Kraft describes it as “the same cheesy Mac & Cheese Americans know and love, now with added fall flavors: hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.” I feel like no one asked for this, and it merits a reminder for the people in the back: we don’t need pumpkin spice everything.
- Halloween may be all but canceled this year, but you can still drink your way into the spirit. Specialty store Eliqs is selling limited edition packs of Hocus Pocus wine, featuring all three of the Sanderson sisters. Literally just what you need for the inevitable Halloween Hocus Pocus marathon in your near future. And for a non-boozy Halloween beverage, here’s how to order a Frankenstein Frappuccino off of Starbuck’s secret menu.
And a few treats to leave you with…
- Random fun fact: did you know that squirrels never actually find up to 74% of the nuts and acorns they bury throughout the fall?! I’m loving this roundup of 14 fascinating fall facts you might now know.
- Ever wondered what the perfect cheese for you is, based on your zodiac sign? Yeah, me either…but I’m still loving the list. As a Gemini myself, my perfect cheese is apparently a “Sharp Gruyère studded with tyrosine crystals. A salty and savory taste with an unexpected crunch to keep you on your toes.” Click here to find out what yours is.
Did you like something in particular from this newsletter? Or did you see a story out there that I should know about? Please reach out and let me know!