Thanksgiving is typically the perfect opportunity to spend time with family, give thanks, and eat lots of delicious food. Everyone’s family has their own special traditions, whether it’s playing a family football game or getting ready for Black Friday shopping. Due to COVID-19, there are many festive Thanksgiving activities that can no longer take place, but this doesn’t mean that people can’t still have a terrific holiday while maintaining the safety precautions prescribed by the CDC.
This year, the usual large family dinners may not be the safest option. The CDC has found that “the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening, and small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases.” Due to the fact that many people tend to have larger gatherings with extended family during this holiday, the CDC recommends that as an alternative, people enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner via Zoom with those who are not living in the same household. If people do decide to have gatherings with other families, it is crucial that they take place outside as “Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (for example, small enclosed spaces with no outside air), pose more risk than outdoor gatherings” (CDC). Gatherings outside are good as they decrease the likelihood of the virus spreading. However, due to the colder weather, that is not always the most comfortable option. But because of the increasing number of cases, specifically in Illinois, it is essential that safety comes first.
Having an excellent Thanksgiving while staying safe is still a very viable option when people remain open-minded to modifying their plans. Several teachers at DHS have made the choice to adjust their Thanksgiving activities. Ms. Kenyon said, “My Thanksgiving plan is to stay at home and be with my husband and not see anybody else because we are trying to stay safe. We had other travel plans to go with my parents to visit my husband’s parents in Montana, the six of us together, but we canceled that trip. . . So now it is going to be the two of us.” Although this was not what Ms. Kenyon’s original plan was, she still found a way to have an enjoyable Thanksgiving from the safety of her own home. Many people have had to cancel trips as well because of the safety threat posed by traveling.
Even people who do not typically travel for Thanksgiving have had to make adjustments to their plans in order to follow the safety guidelines recommended by the CDC. DHS freshman Isabella Mcreedy said her plans are “just to eat dinner and hang out as a family.” Another freshman, Ella Friedman, explained that her plans this year will also be simple. She stated, “My immediate family is just going to order Chinese food and have dinner by ourselves.” Although it won’t be quite the Thanksgiving many of us imagined for this year, people can still find a way to celebrate safely by modifying their plans. There is nothing wrong with a little change, especially when it comes to maintaining safety!
There is no denying that Thanksgiving this year will be unlike any other, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Families can still enjoy their turkey and pumpkin pie–even if they find themselves sitting around a smaller table than usual this year. Happy Thanksgiving!