We are moving forward with holiday plans and get-togethers, based on what happened over the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Festivals, parades, carnivals canceled, sport postponed, stores closing, schools closing, and safety regulations enforced: wearing masks, obtaining customers’ temperature, and using hand sanitizers at all times.
These decisions aren’t easy. People are yearning to see loved ones and to keep up traditions. But the reality is there’s no way to guarantee protection from the virus if you choose to travel or gather with others, not in your immediate household. There are so many variables when it comes to travel, mask-wearing, and approaches to social distancing.
For those who do choose to celebrate the holiday with others, it is safest to gather outdoors, though that’s not an option for everyone during colder months. If you have to meet inside, the CDC recommends opening doors and windows to increase air circulation. Other precautions include thoroughly sanitizing your home, having everyone wear masks indoors, social distancing, washing hands regularly, using touchless trash bags, having one person touch and serve all food, and having all guests bring their own utensils/plates.
In the Stockton Sherwood mall, 15 people were given a survey to choose from on what their plans were for this year’s thanksgiving dinners during a pandemic.
No changes. We will all get together as our regular family’s tradition. 4 people
We will limit it to our immediate family. 6 people
We will not get together with others at all. 3 people
We do not know at this time. 2 people
“We will all get together as is our family’s tradition,” said Melanie Castro, who was shopping for clothes for her children.
According to the Lodi News-Sentinel, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recommendation to cancel large gatherings, several events in San Joaquin County are either being canceled or postponed for safety reasons.
There are other states also facing similar problems.
According to the Boston Herald, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker didn’t go so far as to cancel Thanksgiving, but he did warn the holidays would “look and feel different this year,” as he urged people to limit celebrations to immediate family as a falling spike in coronavirus cases arrives.
For many families, thanksgiving traditions will continue as usual with no changes. The only safe way to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving is with family members of your household or virtually, according to guidance released Tuesday by the California Department of Public Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled indoor gatherings with far-flung relatives as “higher risk” and are advising people to keep these get-togethers as small as possible and to hold them outdoors if they can.
It is seen that most families, for their safety’s sake, won’t be having large family gatherings or even have their own children for this Thanksgiving.
There is no denying that Thanksgiving this year will be different.
We have spent months social distancing, working from home, wearing masks every time we go outside in public, and now, we’ve got some difficult decisions about how we’re going to spend the holidays.
But just because things are different does not mean they have to suck. Being healthy and hygienic can be fun too, and a safe Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to develop new traditions that celebrate the same old values that we all cherish.
If you plan to do traveling for thanksgiving, it’s important that you follow the same safety measures you practiced at home: wear a mask in public, stay 6 feet apart, wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, and avoid touching your face.
Though Thanksgiving will probably look a bit different this year, it is still an important time for families to make memories together. Dr. Sharon Nachman, division chief for Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, says making the decision to host and committing to doing it safely is important. You should give yourself enough time to think about how many people you can host, what you will make, and how you’ll serve it, as well as what people will do after dinner.