How to Celebrate Thanksgiving with COVID
The holiday season is right around the corner, literally. The months of November and December are titled “the most wonderful times of the year”, but they can also be some of the most stressful times of the year. With Thanksgiving being only a week away, families are starting to make plans as to who is cooking dinner, who’s bringing what desert, and who is hosting the holiday feast? Normally these questions raise stress levels on their own, but this year is especially stressful due to the current COVID pandemic. Now, we have to take into account more things than just the questions of who’s hosting and who’s cooking, instead we have to ask ourselves; is it safe to have the entire family over for dinner, can I travel for the holidays, and if I can how do I do it safely? These are just a select few of the questions that the world is asking due to the COVID virus pandemic.
While answers to these questions may vary depending on who you ask, the CDC recently uploaded an article discussing ways we can alter our Thanksgiving holiday, as well as play it safe while celebrating.
If you plan on hosting Thanksgiving dinner there are plenty of ways that you can assure your family’s safety:
- Depending on where you are located, if it is possible to have dinner outdoors then it is recommended. We understand that this is not ideal in some locations; but when possible, it is recommended.
- If having an outdoor meal is not possible in your location, it is ideal to limit the amount of people in the kitchen. Try to avoid the hustle and bustle of more than three people in the room handling and preparing the food.
- Be wise as to who you invite to dinner. By this we mean, it is not advised to have someone with an underlying condition in the presence of someone who has been around multiple groups of people. While this is a difficult call to make, it is in the best interest of everyone to keep the family safe, especially those with a compromised immune system or an underlying medical condition.
- If you do plan on inviting people over for dinner, keep it close knit. Invite only the immediate family and stray away from inviting those who you do not know their recent whereabouts.
- Although it is not ideal, it is advised to have all party attendees to wear a mask; unless you are around only the members of your house hold. If you are attending a holiday party or hosting, it is recommended that you among the other guests to wear a mask and remain 6 feet when possible.
- Normally, Thanksgiving dinner is served as a buffet style meal. Which requires multiple people to grab the serving ware. So instead, designate one person to serve the family their food. This will limit the spread of germs from person to person.
If you are required to travel this holiday, there are multiple ways to keep your risks of developing the virus to a minimum:
- Before you purchase a plane ticket, be sure to check the travel restrictions and recommendations for your home state and your destination. Be aware of any quarantine restrictions and possible hot spots.
- If flying, be sure to wipe down your entire seat; including the back of the seat in front of you and your snack tray. Also be sure to keep your mask on and above your nose.
- Wash and sanitize your hands before, after, and even during the flight. Avoid touching your mask, mouth, eyes, and nose.
Consider some Thanksgiving dinner alternatives:
- Invite the family to an online dinner. While this may not seem like an ideal way to celebrate Thanksgiving, it is the safest way. By celebrating the holiday over a video call you are ensure that everyone remains safe and that you can still celebrate together, even if you are not physically in the same room.
- Instead of inviting the whole family over for a meal, designate each family member to make a dish. Then, have each involved member drop off a tray of that particular food to the other family members involved. This is a creative way to not only reduce the amount of cooking, but also to have a connected meal.
By celebrating virtually you keep everyone’s health in your best interest. However, we do understand that not everyone is going to follow that recommendation, so if you decide to go the alternative route when celebrating, be sure to take the necessary precautions. By taking these precautions, we will keep the risk of the virus spreading lower and ultimately, keep our family members safe and healthy.
Our office is beyond thankful to have such amazing patients apart of our family. We wish everyone a happy, safe, and healthy Thanksgiving!