COVID-19 news and Thanksgiving memories
Posted on 11/25/2020
Mayor Brian Turnbull Northvillians,

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, it is truly up to all of us to slow down and reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. Like many, I am sincerely grateful for family and friends, and especially for those who have reached out to assist our seniors, our youth, Civic Concern and our local businesses. I am also thankful there will soon be open-air winter chalets with heat and lights for your enjoyment in our downtown streets (called “Heat in the Street”).

On another recent development, I am appreciative of the overwhelming response for participation in our new task forces, which include the Rouge Restoration/River Walk project, Farmers’ Market and Ford Field. My hope is that these teams can also provide a valuable assist to the volunteer professionals who dedicate their time and expertise to the City’s 27 boards and commissions, such as the Planning Commission, DDA, BZA HDC, DDA and many more. I’ve always believed that what we focus on today will create lasting benefits for our children and our grandchildren.

Let’s take a look at the latest news before I share some of Northville’s Thanksgiving traditions.

Due to the spike in coronavirus cases throughout the State and to abide by the Health Dept.’s recommendation that those who can work from home should do so, City Hall will be open by appointment only (after Nov. 25).

• Once again, from the Governor’s office:

o What’s Open (11/18 – 12/8): Indoor gatherings (2 households, 10 people), outdoor gatherings up to 25 people, retail stores, pre-school to 8th grade (local district choice), childcare, manufacturing, construction, public transit, hair salons, gyms (individual exercise), restaurants (outdoor dining/takeout), professional sports (no spectators), parks and outdoor recreation, funerals up to 25 people, healthcare.

o Not open (11/18-12/8): High Schools and colleges (in-person learning), workplaces where it can be done from home, theaters, indoor dining, bowling, ice skating rinks, casinos, organized sports (except professional), group fitness.

On the national front, important COVID-19 news is ever more frequent:

• For this Thanksgiving, with the coronavirus cases increasing nationwide, the CDC recommends against traveling or gathering for the holiday, urging Americans to consider celebrating in their own households (Washington Post).

• Dr. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, stated, “The nation needs a uniform approach to the coronavirus pandemic. We need fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to.“ (New York Times)

• A leading coronavirus vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, has been submitted for regulatory approval and is reported to be 95% effective. (NBC News)

• Also, AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s potential COVID-19 vaccine produced strong immune response in older adults who built up robust immunity in the test. (Reuters)

• The first COVID-19 diagnostic self-test that provides rapid results has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (NPR).

• Pfizer has launched a pilot delivery program for its COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee as the U.S. drug maker seeks to address distribution vaccine delivery concerns. It will serve as a pilot model for the U.S. and abroad (Reuters)

• Be aware that COVID and Zoom fatigue is real and has been the topic of careful study. Data confirms that more than 40% of the population is dealing with this issue. COVID-19 fatigue is complex, emotional and brought on by lack of activity and social interaction. This results in boredom and elicits emotions of loneliness, sadness, frustration, anxiety, fear, anger, and resentment. (Psychology Today)

• COVID-19 CONFIRMED CASES: Northville has had 98 cases/7 fatalities, the Township: 838 cases /30 fatalities, Michigan: 330,000 cases /9,000 fatalities, the Nation: 12.2 million cases/260,000 fatalities, and Global: 58 million cases /1.4 million fatalities.

Thanksgivings of yesteryear

Starting in the late 1800s, large community Thanksgiving gatherings took place at the town’s meeting place (the Princess Rink - across from CVS), including a night-before gala event with food and live music for Northvillians and visitors from surrounding communities.
Historically, ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve services were held with many of the local churches gathering together, helping to grow a holiday spirit of cooperation and support for those in the community.
Thanksgiving baskets and meals for the those in need have always been part of the holiday. Many organizations such as the Masons, Eagles, VFW, American Legion, Rotary, Woman’s Club, and others have continued this tradition today.

Even in the early 1900’s, there was lots going on – the traditional Thanksgiving football game at the Athletic Park (where Northville Downs is today) and events at the library, sponsored by the Woman’s Club. At one library program in 1916, Asa Randolph, age 87, spoke of pioneer remembrances followed by a reading of a poem by Robert Yerkes.

According to the Northville Record, 1932 was an extraordinarily hard year economically for the Village. Council rose to the emergency and combined efforts with the American Legion, St. Vincent de Paul Society and many other local organizations to form a local Central Welfare Committee.

In 1972, the Record published a proclamation from Mayor Allen that is still relevant today. It read, in part: “I, the Mayor of Northville, do hereby proclaim November 23 as a time for sincere thanksgiving by the people of our community and do encourage them to [reflect on the] opportunities and privileges we have received.”

I add my own best wishes for all in the community to have a safe, restful and enjoyable holiday … let’s all share our time and talents with those in need on a daily basis.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stay #NorthvilleStrong!
Brian Turnbull
Mayor – Northville
BTurnbull@ci.northville.mi.us / 248.505.6849
Trio: Turkey, Thanksgiving Meal, Library Garden