Rethinking Thanksgiving Travel & Plans

For most of us, 2020 has been an unusual and sometimes frustrating year with COVID-19 as the main factor. Concerts and vacations have been canceled, graduation ceremonies were moved online, even trick-or-treating was canceled and now with a resurgence in cases of coronavirus, Americans face a change in their Thanksgiving plans.

In the United States, Thanksgiving serves as a holiday for people of all ethnicities to gather around the table with their families and enjoy their favorite dishes while giving thanks. Thanksgiving dinner can be quite a large gathering, with extended family even traveling to other states to reunite with their loved ones but officials are advising against any sort of travel, putting many people’s plans on hold.

As of November 19th over 250,000 people in the United States have died due to COVID-19, and 162,000 new coronavirus cases have developed in the last week. With a 27% increase from last week’s count, cases are expected to continually rise with the holidays right around the corner but the Infectious Diseases Society of America says that Americans can still turn things around.

To avoid further surges in the spread of coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has strongly urged against traveling and partaking in large gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday. This means that your usual family feast should be swapped for a small, intimate meal with those who live in your same household. 

Some folks have plans to get tested prior to the holiday in order to spend it with family and friends, but officials have urged against this as well. While waiting for a negative result it is still possible to contract COVID-19 and a negative result also does not ensure that you are covid-free if the sample was collected prematurely in your infection. 

In order to keep cases from climbing, we must all do our part even if that means not having a conventional Thanksgiving -- which can still be fun. Instead of gathering in-person with loved ones, coordinate your meals together and hop on Zoom as you eat. Missing your mom’s cooking? FaceTime her to teach you the recipe, maybe even virtually cook together, so that you can enjoy a taste of tradition. 

Games are also a common Thanksgiving activity, but also something that your family can do together even if apart. If both parties have a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox, why not virtually play monopoly together? Or check out all of Zoom’s fun games for your holiday evening! 

Being away from those you love is never ideal during the holidays, but traditions don’t have to be completely abandoned this year. Stay home and take advantage of technology’s ability to keep your family connected, and ultimately help stop the spread.

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