Stay home this Thanksgiving to keep everyone safe

Create new ways to stay connected

Kate Schneider

With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing and continuing to break records, this holiday season is going to be unlike any other. If we want any chance of keeping the virus under control, everyone needs to stay home and celebrate with those in their household. As tough as it is to sacrifice what might be your first chance to see some family members since March, it’s important to remember that the pandemic is not going to magically pause for one Thanksgiving dinner.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends limiting Thanksgiving gatherings to those in your household that you are around everyday. If you choose to attend a gathering with people outside your house, the CDC has a long list of guidelines to follow. These include quarantining for at least two weeks prior to the event and wear masks whenever you’re not eating or drinking. But realistically at a gathering people are not going to be that vigilant, and even if you are, you cannot control others’ decisions. 

As of Nov. 16, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging people to stay home for Thanksgiving and only celebrate with their immediate family. As of Nov. 18 there have been 236,949 confirmed COVID-19 cases, many of them from October and November where daily records have broken 8,000 cases. This needs to be taken just as seriously as any other MDH guideline, like staying at least six feet apart and washing your hands frequently. They are professionals that know what they are talking about these restrictions are not meant to ruin the holidays, they’re meant to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Just because you have yet to be personally affected by COVID-19 does not mean your social gatherings are immune to it. In Hennepin County Nov. 19, there is around a 30% chance that in a group of ten, at least one person has COVID-19 and the risk only goes up in larger groups. That one person could infect everyone else at the gathering and no one should be risking that, especially if there are going to be high risk people attending.

This Thanksgiving, it’s important that we give up our usual traditions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. There are just too many chances to infect people or get infected at events with family and friends. Instead, try something new and have your dinner over Zoom or Facetime to stay connected even when you’re apart.