How to Celebrate Thanksgiving and Stay Safe

Turkey day has not been canceled. But with the many efforts recommended in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, it will most likely be somewhat different. Your Wocl Leydon family wants to share with you a few of the recommendations that may help you and your family celebrate this Thanksgiving safely as we continue to fight this horrible disease together.

Thanksgiving is usually a time for friends and family to gather together. As you probably have heard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for celebrating the holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic which will have a very profound impact on our traditional Turkey Day festivities.

The CDC’s recommendations include the following: avoiding all travel, any large gatherings and even drinking any amounts of alcohol (since it can cloud judgement and increase participation in risky behaviors). Recently, the CDC updated its guidance on holiday celebrations, recommending that people limit contact with those persons who live outside their home for 14 days before attending a celebration (self-quarantining), as well as shortening the duration of the actual time together (Thanksgiving Day) in order to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

But this doesn’t mean your time with your family giving thanks has to be completely without a celebration of gratitude. There are many creative ways to spend time with those you love without putting yourself and others at risk.

The following are a list of Thanksgiving activities with their CDC risk assessment:

1) Lower Risk:

  • A small dinner with the people in your household
  • A virtual dinner with family and friends
  • Preparing food for family and neighbors (especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 who are social distancing), and delivering it to them without person-to-person contact
  • Shopping online rather than in person on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies at home

2) Moderate Risk Activities:

  • A small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people are taking COVID-19 safety precautions like using hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and maintaining social distance
  • Small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

3) Higher Risk Activities:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Using alcohol or drugs
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

Although Thanksgiving has always been known as one of the biggest travel holidays of the year because people are usually headed for home, this year that won’t be the case given that the CDC has warned against traveling. As Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home.” And, for those being cautious, “home” is wherever you are. Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to make up for the lack of traveling this year. But in the meantime, take time to enjoy the peace and quiet and slower pace. Enjoy your “home”.

We all want to celebrate with those we love and to maintain our lasting traditions, but we also want to keep one another safe during this overwhelming time. To do this, we must be creative in participating in the activities we enjoy most – the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Black Friday Sales and eating with large groups of extended family members. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a virtual event this year. Many of the Black Friday Sales will be conducted online. And many large extended family meals will be eaten over ZOOM! So, don’t give up on your lasting traditions, just adjust and make them new traditions for 2020!

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