Fort Worth, Texas,
11:51 AM

Let's Have a Boring Thanksgiving: Perspective from The Doc Smitty

By Justin Smith, M.D.

For many of you, we've walked through multiple public health concerns together over the years.

  • Ebola
  • Enterovirus 68
  • SARS

And my major message has always been:

Let's have perspective. Let's stay calm.

But today is not that day.

We are eight months into this pandemic. We are all tired. Tired of the isolation. Tired of masks. Tired of the news about COVID-19. I get it. It's exhausting.

In Tarrant County, we are at peak levels like we haven't seen since our worst time in July. The peak is rising steeply to nearly 2,000 cases per day. Even at our worst in July, the numbers were around 700. In addition to cases, hospitalizations are rising significantly as well. This is happening in much of the country. And it's not just affecting adults anymore. While still less common, healthy children are being hospitalized as well.

And the biggest problem is that this rise in cases and growing fatigue of COVID-19 restrictions fall on the second and third week of November, right before Thanksgiving. And frankly, I am terrified of what is going to be happening in the first few weeks of December. I'm terrified for my patients, my colleagues, my family, our schools and teachers and so much more.

We can't have a normal Thanksgiving this year. We have to do it different. Make adjustments to keep your family healthy, to keep our schools open, to keep our hospitals able to function. Be the person in your family who speaks up or leaves if you don't feel like things are being done safely. Zoom, masks, outside, just with your household--just do something different.

For the sake of all of us, we have to.

Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Smith is an experienced keynote speaker for a variety of topics including pediatric/parenting topics, healthcare social media and physician leadership. If you are interested in having Dr. Smith present to your conference or meeting, please contact him at

He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.

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